FEAST OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE
‘You did it to me’ Pope Pius IX, whose motto was: ‘the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ’ instituted this feast in 1925 in response to growing secularism and atheism. Benito Mussolini had just declared himself ‘Il Duce’ (‘The Leader’) of Italy, and the Holy Father wanted to remind his flock that, for them, there could be only one ‘duce’, Jesus Christ. He placed the feast, appropriately, at the hinge of the Church year to indicate that all time and all seasons belong to the Lord who is a king with a difference. His kingdom is a reign, not a realm. He did not come to reign on a golden throne, but on a wooden cross. His power comes, not through domination, but through humble service and in the end He will judge us on our record of that same humble service. The exam questions for this final test are known to all and can be reduced down to one: Did we notice and reach out to‘ the least of these brothers and sisters of ours’? The answer to that question is within the capacity of all to deliver. It is reassuring for us to hear in the Gospel account of the Last Judgement that every kind deed we perform, no matter how small, will go before us and be rewarded. We begin then with the little acts of kindness and of love, remembering that ‘without little things there can be no big things; without water drops there can be no oceans. I cannot do all the good things the world needs, but the world needs all the good things I can do’ – so does God!