Today, Christ the King Sunday celebrates the all-embracing authority of Christ as King and Lord of the world. Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in 1925. The Feast of Christ the King was instituted during a time when respect for Christ and the Church was waning.
The earliest Christians identified Jesus with the predicted Messiah of the Jews. The Jewish word “Messiah,” and the Greek word “Christ,” both mean “anointed one,” and came to refer to the expected king who would deliver Israel from the hands of the Roman Rulers. Christians believe that Jesus is the expected Messiah. Unlike the Messiah most Jews expected, Jesus came to free all people Jew and Gentile, and he did not come to free them from the Romans, but from sin and death. Thus, the king of the Jews, and of the world, does not rule over a kingdom of this earth.
Jesus constantly rejected the title of king during his life because it ran the risk of deeply distorting his true mission and nature. In today’s Gospel, he insists to Pilate that his kingdom is not of this world, that his mission was to come to proclaim the truth.
Thursday this week is Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions. Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times. The Thanksgiving holiday’s history in North America is rooted in English traditions. It has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated. Let us take time to make an inventory of God’s goodness to us and give thanks to God for our blessings. Please join us Thanksgiving morning at 10:00 a.m. to give Thanks to God at Mass.