Christ the King, November 21

Christ the King

Today is the Feast of Christ the King. There’s a political background to this feast. Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 just as totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia were beginning their rise in Europe—leading up to World War II. 
So don’t be surprised if the homily examines some of the political currents in our own day and how they impact our Christian vocation.
We begin with our first reading from the Book of Daniel. For the early Christians this particular reading was arguably the single most influential passage in all of the Old Testament. It speaks of the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time. But the point it makes is that Jesus Christ holds sway over all of human history, that in the end everything will come under the sovereignty of Christ. You can see why the religious meaning of this text conflicts with the claims of totalitarian government and every human attempt to undermine the primary role of Christ in our lives.
The second reading captures the same meaning but in explicit Christian terms. The same imagery appears, Christ descending on the clouds. The Book of Revelation is full of praise and this passage helps to set the tone for the entire book.
These readings serve as a good backdrop to our gospel story about the confrontation of Jesus before Pilate.
—Walter Modrys SJ

This week’s readings can be found on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.