The Feast of Christ the King: Christus Rex


“That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those
that are in Heaven,
on earth and under the earth:
And that every tongue should confess that
the Lord Jesus Christ
is in the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:10-11
Christ Himself speaks of His Own kingly authority: in His last discourse, speaking of the rewards and punishments that will be the eternal lot of the just and the damned; in His reply to the Roman magistrate, who asked Him publicly whether He were a king or not; after His resurrection, when giving to His Apostles the mission of teaching and Baptizing all nations, He took the opportunity to call Himself king, confirming the title publicly, and solemnly proclaimed that all power was given Him in Heaven and on earth. These words can only be taken to indicate the greatness of his power, the infinite extent of His kingdom. What wonder, then, that He Whom St. John calls the “prince of the kings of the earth” appears in the Apostle’s vision of the future as He Who “hath on His garment and on His thigh written ‘King of kings and Lord of lords!’.” It is Christ Whom the Father “hath appointed heir of all things”; “for He must reign until at the end of the world He hath put all his enemies under the feet of God and the Father.”
It was surely right, then, in view of the common teaching of the sacred books, that the Catholic Church, which is the kingdom of Christ on earth, destined to be spread among all men and all nations, should with every token of veneration salute her Author and Founder in her annual liturgy as King and Lord, and as King of Kings. And, in fact, she used these titles, giving expression with wonderful variety of language to one and the same concept, both in ancient psalmody and in the Sacramentaries.


Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Letter, QUAS PRIMAS #11-12

Collect of the Day:

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Daily Readings:

The First Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17
The Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest–it is the Lord who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them.
As for you, my sheep, the Lord says this: I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats.
The Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-26,28
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet. And when everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subject in his turn to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.
The Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.
‘Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”
‘Next he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.”
‘And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.’

Reading From a discourse of Origen on prayer
Thy kingdom come
The coming of the kingdom of God, says our Lord and Saviour, does not admit of observation, and there will be no-one to say “Look here! Look there!” For the kingdom of God is within us and in our hearts. And so it is beyond doubt that whoever prays for the coming of the kingdom of God within himself is praying rightly, praying for the kingdom to dawn in him, bear fruit and reach perfection. For God reigns in every saint, and every saint obeys God’s spiritual laws — God, who dwells in him just as he dwells in any well-ordered city. The Father is present in him and in his soul Christ reigns alongside the Father, as it is said: We will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Therefore, as we continue to move forward without ceasing, the kingdom of God within us will reach its perfection in us at that moment when the saying in the Apostle is fulfilled, that Christ, His enemies all made subject to Him, shall deliver the kingdom to God the Father that God may be All in All.
For this reason let us pray without ceasing, our souls filled by a desire made divine by the Word Himself. Let us pray to our Father in heaven: hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come.
There is something important that we need to understand about the kingdom of God: just as righteousness has no partnership with lawlessness, just as light has nothing in common with darkness and Christ has no agreement with Belial, so the kingdom of God and a kingdom of sin cannot co-exist.
So if we want God to reign within us, on no account may sin rule in our mortal body but let us mortify our earthly bodies and let us be made fruitful by the Spirit. Then we will be a spiritual garden of Eden for God to walk in. God will rule in us with Christ who will be seated in us on the right hand of God — God, the spiritual power that we pray to receive — until he makes his enemies (who are within us) into his footstool and pours out on us all authority, all power, all strength.
This can happen to any one of us and death, the last enemy may be destroyed, so that in us Christ says Death, where is your sting? Death, where is your victory? So let our corruptibility be clothed today with holiness and incorruption. With Death dead, let our mortality be cloaked in the Father’s immortality. With God ruling in us, let us be immersed in the blessings of regeneration and resurrection.

Citations on the Kingship of Christ from Scripture:

But I am appointed King by Him over Sion His holy mountain preachng His commandment. ——Ps 2:6
The Lord hath said to Me: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me and I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for Thy possession.——Ps 2:7-8
Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron and shalt break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

——Ps 2:9 
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end.

Lk 1:32-33
The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe the Gospel. —–Mk 1:15
Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now My kingdom is not from hence.
 Pilate therefore said to Him: Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice. ——John 18:36-37
For the kingdom is the Lord’s; and He shall have dominion over the nations. ——Ps. 31:29
The Lord maketh the flood to dwell: and the Lord shall sit king for ever. ——Ps. 28:10
O clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God with the voice of joy,
For the Lord is high, terrible: a great king over all the earth.  . . .
Sing praises to our God, sing ye: sing praises to our king, sing ye.
For God is the king of all the earth: sing ye wisely. ——Ps. 46:2, 3, 7, 8
For the sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest for herself, where she may lay her young ones:
Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God. ——Ps. 83:4
Sing praise to the Lord on the harp, on the harp, and with the voice of a psalm:
with long trumpets, and sound of cornet.
Make a joyful noise before the Lord our king. ——Ps. 97:5, 6
I will extol thee, O God my king: and I will bless Thy name for ever; yea, for ever and ever. ——Ps. 144:1
Let Israel rejoice in Him that made him: and let the children of Sion be joyful in their king. ——Ps. 149:2

There is one most high Creator Almighty, and a powerful king, and greatly to be feared,
Who sitteth upon His throne, and He is the God of dominion. ——Ecclus. 1:8
He that liveth for ever, created all things together. God only shall be justified,
and He remaineth an invincible king for ever. ——Ecclus. 18:1
I will give glory to thee, O Lord, O King, and I will praise thee, O God my Saviour. ——Ecclus. 51:1

And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord, and His name shall be one.
——Zach. 14:9

Cursed is the deceitful man that hath in his flock a male, and making a vow, offereth in sacrifice that which is feeble to the Lord: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and My name is dreadful among the Gentiles. ——Malach. 1:14

Now to the king of ages, immortal invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
——1 Tim.  1:17
I charge thee: . . . That thou keep the commandment without spot, blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Which in His times He shall show Who is the Blessed and only Mighty the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
 —–1 Tim. 6:14, 15

O Lord God of our fathers, thou art God in Heaven, and rulest over all thl kingdoms and nations, in thy hand i strength and power, and no one can re sist thee. ——2 Paral. 20:6 [2 Chronicles]

Thou art Thyself my king and my God, Who commandest the saving of Jacob. ——Ps. 43:5
But God is our king before ages: He hath wrought salvation in the midst of the earth. ——Ps. 83:12

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king: He will save us. ——Is. 33:22
But the Lord is the true God: He is the living God, and the everlasting king. —–J er. 10:10
O Lord God, Creator of all things dreadful and strong, just and merciful Who alone art the good king.
 —–2 Mach. 10:24.

When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda,
in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is He that is born king of the Jews? For we have seel His star in the east,
and are come to adore Him.
. . . But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet:
And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda:
for out of thee shall come forth the Captain that shall rule My people Israel. —–Matt. 2:1, 2, 5, 6

And on the next day a great multitude that was come to the festival day,
 when they had heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Took branches of palm-trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried:
Hosanna, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, the king of
Israel. And Jesus found a young ass, and sat upon it, as it is written:
Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy king cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt. —–John 12:12-15

Then therefore Pilate took Jesus, and scourged Him.
And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon His head;
and they put on Him a purple garment.
And they came to Him, and said: Hail, king of the Jews; and they gave Him blows.
Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith to them:
Behold, I bring Him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in Him.
(Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he saith to them: Behold
the Man. —–John 19:1-5

And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king.
But they cried out: Away with Him; away with Him; crucify Him.
Pilate saith to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.
—–John 19:14, 15

And Pilate wrote a title also, and he put it upon the Cross. And the writing was:
 Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. —–John 1919

Thou art great, O Lord, for ever, and Thy kingdom is unto all ages. —–Tob. 13:1

Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of Thy kingdom is a sceptre of uprightness. —–Ps. 47:7
The Lord hath prepared His throne in Heaven: and His kingdom shall rule over all. —–Ps. 102:19
They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom: and shall tell of Thy power:
To make Thy might known to the sons of men: and the glory of the magnificence of Thy kingdom.
Thy kingdom is a kingdom of all ages: and Thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
 —–Ps. 144:11-13
The Lord shall reign for ever: thy God, O Sion, unto generation and generation. —–Ps. 145:10

Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom.—–Luke 12:32
There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob,
and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
And there shall come from the east and the west, and the north and the south;
and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. —–Luke 13:28, 29
So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand.
—–Luke 21:31

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot possess the kingdom of God:
neither shall corruption possess incorruption. —–1 Cor. 15:50
For know you this, and understand that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols),
hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. —–Eph. 5:5

But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusa!em,
and to the company of many thousands of Angels,
And to the Church of the first-born, who are written in the heavens,
and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect. —–Heb. 12:22, 23
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great
thunders, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord our God the Almighty hath reigned. —–Apoc. 19:6

Let the heavens rejoice, and the earth be glad: and let them say among the nations: The Lord hath reigned.
Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all things that are in them.
Then shall the trees of the wood give praise before the Lord:
because He is come to judge the earth. —–1 Paral. 16:31-33 [1 Chronicles]
And He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.  . . .
And all kings of the earth shall adore Him: all nations shall serve Him. —–Ps. 71:8, 11
For a Child is born to us, and a Son is given to us, and the government is upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.
His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: He shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will peform this. —–Is. 9:6, 7

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb: and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: the calf,
and the lion, and the sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them.
The calf and the bear shall feed: their young ones shall rest together:
 and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp:
and the weaned child shall thrust his hand into the den of the basilisk.
They shall not hurt, nor shall they kill in all my holy mountain,
for the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the covering waters of the sea. —–Is. 11:6-9
For He that made thee shall rule over thee, the Lord of hosts is His name: and thy Redeemer,
the Holy One of Israel, shall be called the God of all the earth. —–Is. 54:5
And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord,
and His name shall be one. —–Zach. 19:9
Thy kingdom come. —–Matt. 7:10
The kingdom of Heaven is like to a householder, who went out early in the morning
to hire laborers into his vineyard. —–Matt. 20:1

He said therefore: To what is the kingdom of God like, and whereunto shall I resemble it?
It is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden, and it grew,
and became a great tree, and the birds of the air lodged in the branches thereof.

And again He said: Whereunto shall I esteem the kingdom of God to be like?
It is like to eaven, which a woman I took and hid in three measures of meal,
until the whole was leavened. —–Luke 13:18-21

And the seventh Angel sounded the trumpet: and there were great voices
in Heaven, saying: The kingdom of this world is become our Lord’s and His
Christ’s, and He shall reign for ever and ever. Amen. —–Apoc. 11:15

All the glory of the King’s daughter is within in golden borders. —–Ps. 44:14

Another parable He spoke to them: The kingdom of Heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. —–Matt. 13:33

The kingdom of Heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field.
Which a man, having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and
selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. —–Matt. 13:44
And being asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come
He answered them, and said: The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Neither shall they say:
Behold here, or behold there. For lo, the kingdom of God is within you. —–Luke 17:20, 21 
God is a spirit; and they that adore Him, must adore Him in spirit and in truth. —–John 4:24 
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but justice, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. —–Rom. 14:17

O Jesus King Most Wonderful: From the Raccolta

O Jesus, King most wonderful,
Thou Conqueror renowned!
Thou Sweetness most ineffable,
In Whom all joys are found!
When once Thou visitest the heart,
Then truth begins to shine;
The earthly vanities depart;
Then kindles love Divine.
O Jesus, Light of all below!
Thou Fount of life and fire,
Surpassing all the joys we know,
And all we can desire!
May every heart confess Thy Name,
And ever Thee adore;
And seeking Thee, itself inflame
To seek Thee more and more.
Thee may our tongues forever bless;
Thee may we love alone;
And ever in our lives express
The image of Thine Own. Amen. 








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