Long Live Christ the King!
The Solemnity of Christ the King we are celebrating today was instituted by Pope Pius XI as recently as 1925 – the reason – to respond to the needs of the time. The world was still recovering from the First World War. The Bolshevik Revolution had only recently taken place and Atheistic Communism was spreading fast. Everywhere seemed to be abandoning Christ and Christian values. In instituting this feast, Pius XI wanted to remind the world that without Christ we have no hope, and to reject Him is to reject our only hope of salvation.
Blessed Miguel Pro (1891-1927) was a priest in Mexico where the Church after the Mexican Revolution was suffering greatly and was being blamed for all society’s ills, and as a result Catholicism was outlawed. A secret underground Church quickly developed. Fr Pro went under-cover using disguises to avoid being arrested while celebrating Masses secretly, baptising and hearing confessions in private houses. He was finally caught and although there was no evidence against him, the President sought to make an example of him by having him shot. He was put in front of a firing squad, knelt in prayer and put out his arms in the form of a cross while saying, “Viva Cristo Rey” which means, “Long live Christ the King.” Then he was executed.
Like Blessed Miguel Pro, we cannot allow anything to silence the truth of Christ. He is the only Way. He is God, He is King and He is Lord of all. We have to fight for Christ and His Kingdom. By virtue of our Confirmation we are His soldiers and therefore must fight His battles. Remember, earthly kingdoms and governments come and go, but Christ’s Kingdom is forever. So we keep our hearts and homes pure for Him. In the world, in the workplace, in our schools we proclaim His truth. So study your Faith, so that whenever God gives you the opportunity, you may proclaim it. It might not always make you popular, but nevertheless it is what we are all called to do. The errors of Atheism and Communism are rampant in society today. So let us renew our commitment to spread Christ’s Kingdom. Our futures depend on it and YOU could be the one to make a difference. Viva Cristo Rey!
Fr Paul Gillham IC