Long live Christ the King

| Deacon Stephen Najarian | November 20, 2017 | 1 Comment
Cristo Rey

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On Nov. 23, 1927, a 36-year-old Jesuit priest, only two years ordained, stood before a firing squad in his native Mexico on the trumped up charges of conspiracy. Mixed in with the politics of the Mexican revolution of some 10 years earlier, the decades of Church persecution were finally coming to a head. For two years, Father Miquel Augustin Pro had exercised his priestly ministry in secret, even begging alms to help the poor. Just before the shots were fired that made him a martyr, he boldly proclaimed, “Viva, Cristo Rey — Long live Christ the King!”

On this Solemnity of Christ the King, our holy mother the Church offers an opportunity for us to reflect on the true meaning of kingship. But, who is this king of ours?

The eternal Son of the Most High God, through whom the entire universe came into being, was born in absolute poverty, in a stable surrounded by animals. He grew up in an obscure village and worked with his hands. In his public life he owned only the clothes on his back and relied on the generosity of his followers.

He who made the stars usually slept out under them. And now in the Gospel for this great solemnity, we hear Jesus tell us the measure he will use to judge the faithfulness of our discipleship: Have we treated others with the same kind of self-giving charity as we would unto Jesus himself?

Can others tell by looking at our lives that we have submitted to the kingship of Christ?

Christ is truly our king if we continue to narrow the big gap between what we say we believe and the way we behave every day. Christ is our king if we are more concerned with being faithful to the demands of the Gospel than how we appear to others. Christ is our king if we have not made the pursuit of pleasure, power or domination of others the goals of our lives. Christ is our king if we are willing to forgive others their faults and failings. Christ is our king if we are willing to make a real effort at regular prayer, seeking to pattern our lives more and more after the pattern of him who is love. Christ is our king if we have served others through the same kind of sacrificial gift of self he gave for us.

May we never forget our dignity as royalty in the household of Christ the King. What joy we will know one day when we hear Jesus say to us, “You have loved like me, you have served like me, you have died like me. Enter now and forever into the palace of the King of Kings!”

Viva, Cristo Rey — Long live Christ the King!

Deacon Najarian was ordained for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2003 and has served at St. Charles Borromeo in St. Anthony since then. He also teaches pastoral theology, the sacrament of marriage and biomedical ethics at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul.


Sunday, Nov. 26
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Ez 34:11-12, 15-17
1 Cor 15:20-26, 28
Mt 25:31-46

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Category: Sunday Scriptures

  • Bocephus

    Its again more personalism on Christ the King. When Pius XI issued this he was not talking a personal Christ but rather a literal Christ the King. His whole point was that the nations had dethroned Christ as their King and replaced with secular governments. This does a great disservice to people to not address this. If one reads Quas Primas they will quickly understand that he was NOT addressing the personalized Christ the King but rather his literal Kingship over the nations. I would recommend that all take the time and read what Pius XI said.