Testify to the Truth

11-21-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI for the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church as the Church’s response to growing nationalism and secularism that plagued society at that time. In his encyclical, “Quas Primas,” the Vicar of Christ recognized that these related societal ills would breed erroneous practices, inspire despair and cause increased hostility against the Church. The universal Church celebrates this Feast on the last Sunday of each liturgical year to remind the faithful that Christ’s reign is universal and enjoys permanent duration; nations, governments and philosophies however, are ultimately transient.

Today’s readings are consistent with this truth: Christ is the King of the Universe and His kingdom shall last forever. In the first reading, Daniel saw a futuristic vision of “One like the Son of Man” coming (we know that Jesus repeatedly used “Son of Man” as a self-designation in the synoptic Gospels). This Son of Man approached the “Ancient One” and was given dominion, glory and kingship over all peoples forever. In the Gospel, Jesus responds to Pilate’s inquiry on the subject of His kingship: “...for this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37).

Jesus is the Universal King whose desired throne is our hearts and He reigns over the wills of men; however, his dominion transcends human hearts. In fact, “Jesus the Word of God, as consubstantial with the Father, has all things in common with Him, and therefore has necessarily supreme and absolute dominion over all things created” (Pius XI, Quas Primas). He wants to reign over our minds, wills, bodies, homes, communities and churches. He desires and deserves dominion over our relationships, jobs, feelings, emotions, everywhere and everytime. He also wants us to participate in the advancement of His kingdom on earth, and this we can do if we commit to, and remain consistent in, the observance of His Precept of Love.

We pray this weekend that we may willingly be docile to truth and help others encounter Christ anew, bringing the Gospel to the margins of society. We pray, too, for religious liberty all over the world and specifically for Christians in communities and countries where they face intentional suppression, ridicule and even outright persecution.