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This week I finish preparing the homily for this coming weekend’s celebration of the final Sunday of the liturgical year which the Church has proclaimed to be Christ the King Sunday.

To get us started take a moment and have a read of this short summary of this feast from our friends at Wikipedia:

Christ the King is a title of Jesus based on several passages of Scripture. It is used by most Christians. The Anglican Church and The Roman Catholic Church, together with many Protestant denominations, including Presbyterians, Lutherans and Methodists, celebrate the Feast of Christ the King on the last Sunday of the liturgical year (before a new year begins with the First Sunday of Advent, the earliest date of which is 27 November

The name is found in various forms in scripture: King Eternal (1 Timothy 1:17), King of Israel (John 1:49), King of the Jews (Mt. 27:11), King of kings (1 Tim 6:15; Rev. 19:16), King of the Ages (Book of Revelation 15:3) and Ruler of the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5).

Christ’s Kingship was addressed in the encyclical Quas Primas of Pope Pius XI, published in 1925, which has been called “possibly one of the most misunderstood and ignored encyclicals of all time.”The Pontiff’s encyclical quotes with approval Cyril of Alexandria, noting that Jesus’ Kingship is not obtained by violence: “‘Christ,’ he says, ‘has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped, but his by essence and by nature.'” Pope Pius XI instituted the feast of Christ the King in 1925 to remind Christians that their allegiance was to their spiritual ruler in heaven as opposed to earthly supremacy, which was claimed by Benito Mussolini.

Pope Benedict XVI has remarked that Christ’s Kingship is not based on “human power” but on loving and serving others. The perfect exemplar of that acceptance, he pointed out, is the Virgin Mary. Her humble and unconditional acceptance of God’s will in her life, the Pope noted, was the reason that “God exalted her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth.”

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