the Feast Of Christ The King
28 October 1979 at Ecône
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
My dear brethren,
In the magnificent encyclical
Quas Primas of His Holiness Pope Pius XI, instituting the
Feast of Christ the King, the Pope explains why Our Lord Jesus Christ
is truly King, and he gives two particular and profound reasons.
There are indeed many scriptural proofs. We have just read the Gospel
in which Our Lord Jesus Christ proclaims Himself King. There are
many passages from the Psalms and in the New Testament which express
this same quality of Our Lord Jesus Christ as King. But His Holiness
Pius XI takes care to deepen our knowledge of the reasons of this
The first reason is what
the Church calls the "hypostatic union," the union of
the Divine Person of Our Lord with His human nature. Our Lord is
King because He is God. Indeed, there are not two persons in Our
Lord, there is not one Divine Person and one human person. There
is only one person—the Divine Person who directly assumed a human
soul and a human body without passing by the intermediary of a human
person. Consequently, when we speak of Jesus Christ, we say the
Person of Jesus Christ. Now, this person of Jesus Christ is a Divine
Person. Certainly, Jesus Christ is both God and man since He assumed
a human soul and a human body. Thus, the human soul and the human
body of Our Lord Jesus Christ have become so intimately united to
God that they cannot be separated. It is the Person of Our Lord
Jesus Christ which is entirely Divine and by His Person, His body
and soul are "deified."
Thus, Our Lord Jesus Christ
as He presented Himself along the route of Palestine and even as
He presented Himself as an infant in Bethlehem, is King. Not only
does He possess the character of this royalty but also the Church
teaches us that by this union of God with human nature, with a soul
and with a body, which He assumed, Our Lord Jesus Christ is essentially,
by nature—Saviour, Priest, and King. He cannot but be the Saviour,
for He alone may say that He is God. He alone is able to say that
He is the Priest, the Pontiff—He who truly makes the
link between heaven and earth—and also He alone is able to say that
He is the King. He is not king according to the kingships
of this world, that is to say, over a given territory and limited
to the earth, to men. Indeed, Our Lord is King not only of the earth
but also of heaven. This is the first profound reason of the royalty
of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of this we must be convinced in order
to see Our Lord as King, our personal King. Our Lord Jesus Christ
is our King.
But He is King for another
reason as well. Pope Pius XI explains well that Our Lord Jesus Christ
is King by conquest. By what conquest?
It is because Our Lord Jesus
Christ has conquered all by His Blood, by His Cross and by Calvary.
Regnavit a ligno Deus, God has reigned by the wood, i. e.,
by the Cross, Our Lord has conquered all souls, whomsoever they
may be, by right—a strict right. All souls since they are created
by God, even if they live for only a moment here on earth, are by
right subjects of Our Lord Jesus Christ because He conquered them
by His Blood. He wants to save them. He desires to redeem them ail
by His Blood, His Divine Blood, in order to lead them to heaven.
Yes, Our Lord, by His Precious Blood and by His Cross, is by right
Our King. This is the very reason why in the early centuries after
the peace of Constantine, when the Christians were officially able
to present the Cross in their churches, in their chapels and in
other places of worship, they usually represented Our Lord Jesus
Christ as a crowned King; crowned with the crown of Kings. Christ
is surely our King and He is King by His Cross.
We must then consider the
principles of this nature of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King, of this
conquest which Jesus has made upon our hearts and our souls by His
death upon the Cross. Is Our Lord Jesus Christ daily in practice,
in all of our actions, in all of our thoughts, truly our King? Pope
Pius XI continues in his encyclical to describe the manner in which
Our Lord must be our King. He must be the King of our intellects
and of our thoughts because He is the Truth (Veritas). Jesus
Christ is the Truth because He is God.
Is then Our Lord Jesus Christ
truly King of our thoughts? Is it He who truly orients all of our
thoughts, our reflections, our intellectual life, in the life of
our Faith? Is it truly Our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the light of
our intellects? Is He King of our wills?
He is the Law. If the Tablets
of the Law were found in the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament,
they represented precisely Our Lord Jesus Christ Who today is found
in our tabernacles. But today with a tremendous superiority have.
we the Law in our tabernacles, in our "arks of the covenant."
It is no longer the cold stones of the Old Testament but rather
it is Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself Who is the Law. The Word of
God is the Law by Whom all has been made, in Whom all things have
been created. He is the Law not only of souls, of minds, of wills
but He is the Law of all nature. All the laws which we discover
in nature come from Our Lord Jesus Christ-come from the Word of
God. It suffices to consider that all creatures follow with incomparable
fidelity the laws of God, that they follow physical laws, chemical
laws and all the laws of vegetative nature, of animal nature. These
laws are followed impeccably.
And we, too, must follow
in a diligent manner, in a free manner, the laws of God inscribed
in our hearts. It is precisely due to our liberty that we must attach
ourselves to this law which is the path of our happiness, the way
to eternal life.
Man has turned away from
Our Lord Jesus Christ must
then be—must again become—the King of our wills and we must conform
our wills to His law, to His Law of love, to His law of charity,
to the Commandments which He has given us and which He Himself told
us encompass all other Commandments: To love God and to love one's
neighbors. Are not these two in fact one and the same Commandment?
It is He Who tells us so. Do we then truly conform our wills to
the law of Our Lord Jesus Christ? Is Jesus Christ truly King of
Finally, Jesus has to be,
as Pope Pius XI tells us, the King of our hearts. Are our hearts
truly attached to Our Lord Jesus Christ? Are we conscious of the
fact that Our Lord Jesus Christ is our ALL—Omnia in omnibus.
Jesus Christ is all and in all things. It is He in ipso omnia
constant as St. Paul says. In Him all is sustained, in Him we
live, in Him we are and we act. It is this that St. Paul explains
in his discourse to the Areopagite: In ipso vivimus, in ipso
movemur, in ipso summus—He holds all in His hand.
We must then wonder what
the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph must have thought. I believe
that there is an admirable example for us. If we truly desire that
Jesus Christ be our King we must try to imagine what Nazareth must
have been. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. What must Mary have thought of
Jesus? What must Joseph have thought of Jesus? It is incredible!
It is a great mystery, an impenetrable mystery . of the goodness,
of the charity of God. To think that He permitted two creatures
chosen by Him, to live with Him! For St. Joseph during thirty years,
for the Blessed Virgin during thirty-three years, in the intimacy
of Jesus, in the intimacy of He Who is God. It is He without whom
neither Mary nor Joseph could speak, think, nor live. Mary bearing
Jesus in her arms, bearing God in her arms! As the Gospel often
says it was not she who was bearing Jesus but Jesus who was bearing
her. For Jesus was much greater than she for He is God. Just think
what must have been in the soul, will and heart of the Blessed Virgin
Mary living with Jesus, seeing Him with His young companions, seeing
Him working with St. Joseph.
We also have the joy to live
with Our Lord.
Even under the delicate envelope
of her body, the Blessed Virgin Mary adored the living God for she
knew—she knew that the living God was in her home. She knew this
through the Annunciation by the angel. And St. Joseph knew it perfectly
We, too, know that we have
the living Jesus in our tabernacles under the delicate Eucharistic
species. Jesus is there! Not only do we have Him in our tabernacles,
but moreover in a manner which I would say is almost more intimate
than that of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of St. Joseph, when Our
Lord gives Himself to us as our spiritual food.
Imagine, that truly in our
bodies, in our hearts we bear Jesus—we bear God who sustains us,
for without Him we would not be able to live nor exist nor say a
single word nor even think a single thought. And we bear this God
in the Holy Eucharist!
Let us ask Our Lord Jesus
Christ when we receive Him in us that He be our King—that He may
give us the thoughts of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of St. Joseph;
that our wills be as theirs, submitted to His law; that He may grant
us the affections of the hearts of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St.
Joseph, these creatures whom He chose from all eternity to be His
guardians, to be those with whom He was to live.
Ask them—ask Mary and Joseph—to
help us live under the sweet Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ. One
day, we hope that we shall be in that Kingdom and that we shall
see Him in His splendour and in His glory as we say so often when
we recite the Angelus ut per passionem ijus et crucem ad resurrectionis
gloriam perducamur—in order that by His Passion and Cross we
may be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.
Indeed, we also must pass
now by the Passion and Cross of Jesus upon the earth in order that
one day we be able to join in the glory of His Resurrection, this
glory which illuminates heaven, which is heaven, for God is heaven.
Thus Our Lord Jesus Christ is heaven. In Him we will live in the
grace of God by the grace of God. If we have Him already as our
King here on earth, then we shall have Him as our King for all eternity.
Beseech the Blessed Virgin
Mary and St. Joseph today, not only for us, but for our families,
for all those who surround us, that they may come to the light of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, that they recognize evil, and also for those
who do not obey Him or who withdraw themselves from Him. Have pity
on all these souls who do not know the King of Love and of Glory,
in whom we have the happiness to believe, in whom we have the happiness
to love. Beseech Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary,
and St. Joseph to convert all these souls to Our Lord Jesus Christ
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Translated by Eugene
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109
No. 2, February 1980