November 20, 2016 — The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
We celebrate today what is popularly called the Feast of Christ the King (the official Church name is The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe). In this particular year 2016, however, it is a greater celebration than usual. As always we commemorate the fact that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is indeed the King of the Universe.
In his encyclical establishing this observation in the Church (this only occurred in 1925, some 91 years ago) Pope Pius XI declared, “He (Jesus) must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things.” His point was that Christ needs to be at the center of our lives, which is exactly what stewardship calls for — living Christ-centered lives.
It was Pope Paul VI who moved this time to rejoice to this date, which is also the final Sunday of our liturgical year, as Advent and the new Church year begin next week. Finally, today also marks the culmination of our Holy Year of Mercy. The word “mercy” appears some 276 times in the Bible (almost the same as the word “truth”). Jesus told us it is never too late for mercy, for conversion, for making Him the center of our lives.