Christ, King of the Universe
The Blessed Trinity guards an extraordinary Secret, the revelation of which will manifest to the world the supreme royalty of Christ on this earth. Happy, indeed sublimely happy, are those to whom the Holy Spirit reveals it!
At the close of each liturgical cycle, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, one of the most beautiful feasts of her calendar. Torrents of grace are granted to us in this commemoration, making us aware of our nobility as children of God through Baptism: “He raises the poor from the dust […] to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people” (Ps 113:7-8). All of us, born in the filth of original sin, are elevated to the category of princes by grace, because the Blood of the King himself is poured out for us, making us His brethren, members of the divine family.
We are moved to think that the Only-begotten Son of the Father, King from all eternity by His divine nature, also became King as a Man in the Incarnation, coming down from the heavenly heights to seek those gone astray, to “look after and tend My sheep” (Ez 34:11), as the touching prophecy of Ezekiel contained in the first reading portrays. This is a symbolic image of the Good Shepherd’s extraordinary care for souls, speaking to the conscience of those who fall into the mire of sin, moving them to repentance and carrying them on His shoulders back to the flock. The Responsorial Psalm revisits this figure and takes it to even more sublime heights: “The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want” (Ps 23:1).
Our Lord also holds the title of King by right of conquest, for in redeeming humanity by His Passion and Death on the Cross, He freed them from the yoke of the devil, who had enslaved them since Adam’s fault. And by His glorious Resurrection He triumphed over death, “The last enemy to be destroyed” (1 Cor 15:26), as St. Paul states in the second reading. The Redeemer is therefore King of all men, including those who reject Him and plunge themselves into hell. Even though they do not have Christ as their Head, because they do not belong to His Mystical Body, He will judge them at the end of the world.
After the Judgement, “When everything is subjected to Him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the One who subjected everything to Him, so that God may be all in all” (1 Cor 15:28), the Apostle goes on to say. At that moment of the plenitude of his royalty, Jesus, the most faithful Son, having eradicated satan’s dominion from the universe, will say to the Father: “This is the power which I have conquered. I entrust it to You, and I once again place into Your hands the work of restored creation.”
This wonderful theological panorama is completed with Our Lord’s words in the Gospel, which describe in a detailed and comprehensive manner the great event which will close history and definitively separate the good from the wicked.
The Secret of Christ’s Royalty
Filled with magnificent principles and revelations, the Liturgy of this Solemnity invites us to contemplate the care of Providence for humanity throughout history. On seeing the state of misery to which the descendants of Adam were reduced, the Only-begotten Son became incarnate, and through His sufferings and Death on the Cross, effectively became King. However, since a great number of men rejected His Most Precious Blood, the present state of the world is much graver than it was then.
Now, from all eternity, the Most High has seen the ungratefulness of His children and has fully understood the weakness of the generations that would follow, but He has not diminished the displays of His love. Therefore, the Incarnation and Redemption itself allow us to hope that He will intervene once again, and with even greater efficacy.
However, an inevitable question arises: what other solution could there be after the Divine Word became flesh and dwelt among us?
The Most Holy Trinity guards an extraordinary Secret, the revelation of which will manifest to the world the supreme royalty of Our Lord on this earth, as a harbinger of the glory that He will have in the Universal Judgement. It is the Secret of Christ the King or, as St. Louis Grignion de Montfort discerned it, the Secret of Mary:
“Happy, indeed sublimely happy, is the person to whom the Holy Spirit reveals the secret of Mary, thus imparting to him true knowledge of Her. Happy the person to whom the Holy Spirit opens this enclosed garden for him to enter, and to whom the Holy Spirit gives access to this sealed fountain where he can draw water and drink deep draughts of the living waters of grace. That person will find only grace and no creature in the most lovable Virgin Mary. But he will find that the infinitely holy and exalted God is at the same time infinitely solicitous for him and understands his weaknesses. Since God is everywhere, He can be found everywhere, even in hell. But there is no place where God can be more present to His creature and more sympathetic to human weakness than in Mary. It was indeed for this very purpose that He came down from Heaven.”
If humanity never before arrived at the extremes of weakness and misery which it has reached in our days, the mercy that God reserves for it is incalculable, unimaginable for Angels and all the more so for men! This divine clemency will descend upon souls through Our Lady with unprecedented superabundance and efficacy, inaugurating a new historical period in which Christ’s Kingdom will be established in the world through the wise and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, instituted by Pope Pius XI almost a century ago, will only truly be understood in this Marian era to come. Nevertheless, let us ask Him to reign from now on in our hearts, always keeping alive the certainty of His intervention in history, which will mark the future and eternity with the triumphant cry of Christ the King: “Confidence, I have overcome the world! Confidence, I have established the Reign of Mary, my Mother!”