The pandemic also makes us concerned for upcoming celebrations; Thanksgiving and Christmas. What will they look like this year? My answer, they will look exactly like what we make of them! Will we be taking meals to those who otherwise wouldn’t have them, facetiming or other social media gatherings. Will we sit outside in the garage or outside a window letting some-one know they are worth the effort? Will we simply pick up the phone and be with them the best we can?
Pope Pius XI issued the encyclical Quas Primas (does not belong to this world) On the Feast of Christ the King in 1925. In it, Pope Pius XI illuminated how society was already laden with difficulties. 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 he said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations.” Men had to look for “the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ. Pope Pius XI reminded that 1925 marked the 16th centenary of the Council of Nicaea which added to the Creed “‘of whose kingdom there shall be no end,’ thereby affirming the kingly dignity of Christ.” He noted Jesus is King in all ways, such as King of Hearts by reason of his “charity which exceedeth all knowledge.” And his mercy and kindness which draw all men to him, for never has it been known, nor will it ever be, that man be loved so much and so universally as Jesus Christ. As King, Our Lord has universal dominion. He is our “lawgiver, to whom obedience is due…Those who keep them show their love for their Divine Master, and he promises that they shall remain in his love.” The Father gives all judgement to the Son, who is Jesus the King. “Executive power, too, belongs to Christ, for all must obey his commands; none may escape them, nor the sanctions he has imposed.” There’s this to consider too. Jesus told Pilate his kingdom was not of this world. Pope Pius XI said, “This kingdom is opposed to none other than to that of Satan and to the power of darkness. It demands of its subjects a spirit of detachment from riches and earthly things, and a spirit of gentleness. They must hunger and thirst after justice, and more than this, they must deny themselves and carry the cross.” This was true in 1925 and remains true today, 95 years later. This Feast, which we are blessed with as a Patron name, signifies much more than we realize sometimes. It is a sign of true Kingship, a King who watches over his subjects with great authority and compassion. A Kingdom which spreads all those attributes of the image we were made in.
This doesn’t stop because of a pandemic, this is when the Light of Christ truly shines forth. Make the best of this holiday season, stay united in this great Kingdom God has made for each of us. Continue to show that love, and may each of you have a blessed Feast Day and Thanksgiving.