It was on December 11, 1925, that Pope Pius XI through his encyclical, Quas Primas, that he inserted into the liturgical calendar this feast in recognition of the kingship of Jesus Christ to be celebrated on the last Sunday of October. The year 1925 was significant because it was the 1600-year anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea when the divinity of Christ was defined against the Arian heresy. Also, the Creed that was formulated by the council included the words “of whose kingdom there shall be no end.”
Indeed, His is an everlasting kingdom which will never end. However, as Pope Pius XI says in his encyclical, for man to enjoy the peace of Christ, he must submit to His reign:
And We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics: and we said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Saviour, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ; and that We promised to do as far as lay in Our power. In the Kingdom of Christ, that is, it seemed to Us that peace could not be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the restoration of the Empire of Our Lord.
Nearly one hundred years later since these words were written we are no closer to the public recognition of Christ’s kingship, rather worse. Though we pray that His kingdom come – adveniat regnum tuum, fiat voluntas tua sicut in coelo et in terra – however, we can at least allow Him to reign over ourselves: mind, will, heart and body. Pius XI also writes:
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 sanctificaiton of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.
So, let us put on the sweet and saving yoke of Jesus Christ our King, and even profess this fact in our dying breath like the Mexican martyrs, the Cristeros.
Viva Cristo Rey!