This weekend brings to us one of the most beautiful feasts in the entire Church calendar, and one which provides us with a tremendous wealth of material for contemplation and prayer. We must never lose our awareness of the sacred liturgy which follows the calendar of the Church and, day by day, presents to us the truths, the events, and the persons, divine and human, upon which and whom we can base our prayer life. This Sunday is the last of the Ordinary Time, and therefore the Solemnity of Christ the King. The following Sunday will be the first Sunday of Advent, and thus the beginning of the new church year. Just as all of history moves forward and will culminate in the meeting of the entire human race with Christ, our King, so our annual calendar reflects that movement and that approach of mankind to Christ our King, and his approach to us.
All we have to do to fill our minds and hearts with the spirit of this great solemnity is to pick up a missalette or a copy of the liturgy of the hours for this feast and read—slowly and prayerfully—the various parts of the Mass and the Divine Office, or Liturgy of the Hours as we now call it. These constitute the official prayer which the universal Church offers daily to her God and Father through and in union with Our Lord Jesus Christ, our mediator in adoration and in petition.
There is no better way in which we can vary our prayer life, pray and live in rhythm with the worshiping Church, and bring spiritual input into our minds, hearts, and souls than by means of using the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.
By way of example, let’s just open the Liturgy of the Hours to Evening Prayer I, or First Vespers, of the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King. The antiphon to be used before and after the Canticle of Our Blessed Mother says this: “The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his ancestor; he will rule in the house of Jacob forever and his kingdom will have no end, alleluia!”
God the Father gives to this human being, who is also his divine Son, the throne of David, the greatest king of the Chosen People during the centuries of the Old Testament, and the founder of the “House of David,” or the royal dynasty of the Jews. He will rule in the house of Jacob forever. Jacob was the third of the patriarchs and the man who became the father of the founders of the twelve tribes of Jacob or Israel, the new name he was given by God. Thus Our Divine Lord is adored as a King like David and a founder of a new Chosen People like Jacob or Israel. And his Kingship and Leadership will be eternal.
And on this last Sunday of our church year, we pour out our hearts and our praise and our love to Christ, our King; Christ, our Leader; Christ our High Priest; Christ, our Judge; Christ, our Savior; Christ, our divine Friend. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.