The Feast of Christ the King, which we celebrate today, is a fairly recent addition to the liturgical calendar. It was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925. The encyclical Quas Primas (On the Feast of Christ the King), explains the reasons for establishing this great feast and explains the different aspects of Christ’s kingship. Pius XI realized that secularism was beginning to poison the hearts of the faithful and that more than ever, people were giving things other than God primacy in their lives. His message is unfortunately relevant to the current state of society as well.
We are constantly reminded of the fact that God’s plans and man’s plans are often as different as night and day. This is especially true for the idea of kingship. Jesus blew the Israelite idea of kingship out of the water, and for that many of them rejected Him. Jesus is the ultimate servant leader. He lived in poverty and died the death of a criminal. He was exalted through the ultimate sacrifice; his throne is one of suffering. His crown was a crown of thorns.
This part of Quas Primas stuck out to me: “He is King of hearts, too, by reason of his “charity which exceedeth all knowledge.” And his mercy and kindness which draw all men to him, for never has it been known, nor will it ever be, that man be loved so much and so universally as Jesus Christ.”(7)
Jesus longs to reign as king of your heart. While most of us don’t worship other gods today, there are more subtle idols we worship every day – money, sex, popularity. What has a hold of your heart and is keeping you from giving it fully to the King of hearts?