This Sunday we celebrate the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe as we approach the end of the liturgical year of our Church. We remember in a special way what Christ means to us, what Christ did for us, and that we are called to serve the King of Kings.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops calls us to acknowledge Christ’s kingship with our lives. The bishops stated, “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.’ “
As we reflect on these words, we are reminded that Our King, Jesus Christ, invites us to eternal life in heaven. His will is for our complete and eternal happiness, and we have the opportunity to respond to the gracious invitation He extends to us. The way to eternal happiness is open to all, but we have free will as to how we will respond. Our King wants us to be spiritually ready to come into His presence. And so, we are invited and challenged to embrace His message, embrace His ministry, embrace His mission, and embrace His teaching.
The word “Eucharist” means “giving thanks” and the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. Our Church leaders remind us that the Lord establishes a special bond with His community through the special Eucharistic meal. It is the nourishment that fuels and sustains the spiritual vitality of our wonderful faith community. We can thank the Lord for the opportunity to bond with each other by nourishing on the Bread of Life, especially on this day as we honor Christ Our King.
The following prayer, “Jesus Christ the King”, reflects the significance of this feast:
Almighty everlasting God,
who in Thy beloved Son, King of the whole world,
hast willed to restore all things.
Grant in thy mercy that all the families of the nations,
rent asunder by the wound of sin,
may be subjected to His gentle rule.
Who with Thee live and reign, world without end.