Newsletter 22nd November 2020

Dear All,

‘Christ the King’; ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe’: this is a relatively modern addition to the liturgical calendar and is always celebrated on the last Sunday of the liturgical year. It has no fixed date. 

Coming, as it does in November, the Month of the Holy Souls and our November Dead Lists; and, if we spend some time with the Readings of the day, our minds naturally move to the ‘last things’ Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell … wonderful sources of meditation but subjects upon which we can come to no conclusion.

Perhaps we would be better looking at the Collect of the day, ‘Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise’ and bringing a balance between the two.My father died early on a Sunday morning. I do not remember the year, or the date, but it was the Feast of Christ the King. I remember him (and my mother) both in prayer and for what he did for me … and give thanks, firstly,  for my baptism when I was anointed; prophet, priest and king … and I give thanks to God for the gift of faith. Each of us, at our baptisms, were anointed to the same roles in life and goals in death. At our baptisms, we became members of the Communion of Saints.

In the old Catechism, which many of learnt by heart, we came to understand the communion of saints is the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven in the organic unity of the same mystical body under Christ its head. The doctrine of the “Communion of Saints” helps to explain the Church. The baptized all form one body and the good of each is shared by all. “Because Christ (the Church’s most important member) is the head, his riches are given to all the members through the sacraments” (St. Thomas Aquinas). 

Prayer, the raising up of the mind and heart to God, is the way in which we communicate with God and the saints and as we pray on this Feast of Christ the King, this November, we should be looking to change ourselves and adopt more the ‘image and likeness’ of God.

Pope Pius XI, who established this feast, wanted it to impact on us; to bring about change in our relationships with God. “The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.”Today, as we approach the Season of Advent and prepare for Christmas, each and every one of us should be looking to improve our Prayer Life and communicate better with God and the Saints.

Father Kevin

2020 22nd November – Christ The King – Download