The Solemnity of Christ the King is the culmination of the church calendar. We started with the First Sunday of Advent (when we prepare in commemoration of the first coming of our Lord) and ends with Christ the King, wherein we acknowledge the kingship and lordship of Jesus Christ over us and everyone and everything in heaven and earth.
As Christians we are all encouraged or even “required” to join the “church of Christ”, His mystical body — we, the people, in the celebration of the Holy Mass, in the adoration of the Sacred Host as presented and processed within the church or in the community.
For many years now, the parishes under the VICARIATE OF OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP jointly celebrates the Solemnity of Christ the King and as one community we go in procession as the Holy Host is brought from one parish to another within the vicariate. Last year (2016), from the newly erected parish of Pope St. John XXIII, the Holy Host was brought to the Mary Immaculate Parish church in Salawag, Dasmarinas Cavite.
As Couples for Christ, we acknowledge Jesus Christ not only as our Lord and Savior but as our King. It is what the name of our community implies — we are couples living our lives according to the ways of our King, Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
As Couples for Christ, we would not be living according to our name if we will not heed the invitation of our Master to His feast. Will be like those invited but did not come because “we have just purchased a field” or “five yoke of oxen” perhaps or “have just married a woman?” (Lk 14:15-20 NABRE).
While we say, we are meeting the Lord in our Household meetings, or in our prayer assemblies, it is never comparable to our joining the “church of God” in the celebration of solemnities such as the Christ the King. In short, these activities, while they are for our Lord’s service, they can never be reason enough to miss joining the celebration of the Christ the King.
What is the Solemnity of Christ the King?
The solemnity of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism — a philosophy where God is taken out from the thinking and existence of man. But even until now secularism coupled with commercialism is very much in evidence.
In some aspects, we may see many Catholics flocking to the celebration of the Christ the King but with seeming disrespect for the sacredness of the whole celebration — taking a “selfie” or a “groupie” with the Sacred Host as background; or capturing the moment with their “high-end” camera phones and posting them in social media right there and then instead of living the moment with our Lord. Perhaps, they think that they will get their indulgences from the likes and reactions of their online friends.
What would be our posture during this celebration?
If we join the procession (unlike a parade), we should maintain an atmosphere of prayer whether individually or as a group. Bringing a lighted candle as we go on procession also symbolizes Christ as the light unto our path.
Well, we are now in the age of technology — why not use our cell phone’s torch?
In the province where I grew up, the reverence during this procession was very much felt. Homes and establishments along the procession’s route lighted candles, and knelt down in reverence when the King in the form of the Holy Host passed by. It’s been a while since I have gone back to my home province so I can’t say for a fact that it is still in practice today, although I deeply hope that it is.
I am saddened to witness so much irreverence here in the city. There was even one time when an “impatient” truck driver broke into the flow of procession just before the Holy Host. Perhaps, he was of different belief, I hoped so. Or perhaps, the simplicity of life in the rural areas helps for a deeper spirituality.
Finally, the deepest reverence and honor we can give to our King is by acknowledging His Lordship over us in our sinfulness and weakness, like the humbled thief who asked for His forgiveness and mercy. Let us wear our banquet attire — the purity of our soul, and join Him in His banquet. Let us clean our souls in the sacrament of Reconciliation and receive Him in our humble hearts in the Holy Eucharist.
May the Lord Jesus Christ, our King rule over us and every aspects of our lives. Amen!