Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Last Sunday of October: The Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King

White
Double of the First Class

The Kingdom of Heaven—Holy Church—is seen bringing forth out of her treasure “things new and old.” Although she can never add new dogmas to the deposit of Faith entrusted to her, as the ages go by she is seen understanding more perfectly and explaining more fully those treasures in her keeping. She is a living body, not a statue, and she can develop, though she can never change her nature. Hence, guided by the Holy Spirit of him who has promised to be with her not merely for a few centuries but unto the end of the world, she defines or emphasizes certain points of doctrine as she sees fit, considering needs of the times. We have an example in the institution of the feast, of the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XI, in the jubilee year 1925, and explained to the faithful in the Encyclical Quas Primas.

Christians have ever hailed our divine Lord as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It was as a King that the representatives of the Eastern World came to adore him in the manger; it was as a King, albeit not knowing what he did, that the official representative of the Western world lifted him up upon the Cross. The patriarchs and prophets of the old dispensation foretold his royalty; he spoke constantly of his kingdom: when asked plainly whether he were in truth a king by the representative of Cæsar, he acknowledged that such indeed he was, though of a kingdom not of this world.

“His Kingship is founded upon the ineffable hypostatic union. It is spiritual and concerned with spiritual things. It is opposed to none other than to that of Satan, and to the powers of darkness. Christ is King over angels and men; King over men’s hearts and wills; his Kingship 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.”

Yet though his is a spiritual kingdom, opposed to no just earthly polity, “it would be a grave error to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power. All men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society.”

Today we sadly behold “a world undone,” largely paganized in principles and outlook and, in recent years, in one country even glorying in the name “pagan.” At the best, governments mostly ignore God; and at the worst, openly fight against him, as we of today are witnessing in the Old World and in the New. Even the statesmen’s well-meant efforts to find a remedy for present ills and, above all, to secure world peace, prove futile because whereas peace is from Christ, and possible only in the Kingdom of Christ, his name is never mentioned throughout their deliberations or their documents. Christ is kept out of the State schools and seats of higher education; and the rising generations seem to be taught anything and everything save to know, love, and serve him. Art and literature all too frequently reflect the same tendencies.

And since the spirit of evil reigns inevitably wherever the spirit of Christ has ceased to reign, in public and in private men are flouting the moral laws of God, and some of the worst abominations of ancient paganism are becoming matters of every-day life. Moreover, be it remembered, modern paganism is worse than that of the ancient world, in that the former knows what it does as the latter did not. There is now an intense, positive hatred of Jesus Christ in the militant atheist, which differs in kind from the attitude of the fiercest Roman or Eastern persecutor: “If I had not come and spoken to them … if I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin: but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.”

Ever as practical as she is supernatural, the Church is not content with merely deploring the evil, nor even with counteracting it by sound teaching. She would also make definite reparation to the divine majesty thus denied and defied; to him whose royalty is slighted and insulted. Something must be done by those who, in a measure, understand and love, in order to atone for those who do not. “To repair the crime,” says the great 20th century Thomist Fra. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange in his study L’Amour de Dieu et de la Croix de Jesus, The Love of God and the Cross of Jesus, “of ‘lèse-divinité,’ which denies God’s rights over the human society whose author he is, we must exalt Jesus Christ as King over all individuals, families, and peoples. If his universal royalty be proclaimed and his reign in society recognized, one of the principal evils of the modern world—the secularizing of public and private life—will be attacked at its roots.” Hence we have the special exhortation of the Vicar of Christ, and the institution of the feast of this divine Kingship.

“To this end nothing would serve better than the institution of a special feast in honor of the Kingship of Christ. For people are instructed in the truths of faith, and brought to appreciate the inner joys of religion, far more effectually by the annual celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any pronouncement, however weighty, of the teaching of the Church. Such pronouncements usually reach only a few, and those the more learned among the faithful; feasts reach them all; the former speak but once, the latter speak every year—in fact for ever. The Church’s teaching affects the mind primarily; her feasts affect both mind and heart, and have a salutary effect upon the whole of man’s nature … We have commanded its observance on a Sunday, in order that not only the clergy may perform their duty by saying Mass and reciting the Office, but that the laity too, free from their daily tasks, may in a spirit of holy joy give ample testimony of their obedience and subjection to Christ … that they may so order their lives as to be worthy, faithful, and obedient subjects of the Diving King.”

Mass.—

Introit

Dignus est Agnus, qui occisus est, accipere virtutem, et divinatem, et sapientiam, et fortitudinem, et honorem. Ipsi gloria et imperium in sæcula sæculorum.

The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honor; to Him be glory and empire for ever and ever.

Deus, judicium tuum Regi da: et justitiam tuam Filio Regis. Gloria Patri.

Give to the King, O God, Thy justice, and to the King’s Son Thy judgment. Glory be to the Father, &c.

Collect

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui in dilecto Filio tuo, universorum Rege, omnia instaurare voluisti: concede propitius; ut cunctiæ familiæ Gentium, peccati vulnere disgregatæ, ejus suavissimo subdantur imperio: Qui cum vivit et regnat.

Almighty and everlasting God, Who in Thy beloved Son, the King of the whole world, hast willed to restore all things, mercifully grant that all the kindreds of the nations that are now divided by the wound of sin, may be brought under the sweet yoke of His rule: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth.

Commemoration is made of the occurring Sunday.

Epistle
Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Colossenses. Lesson of the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Colossians.
Cap. i. Ch. i.

Fratres: Gratias agentes Deo Patri, qui dignos nos fecit in partem sortis sanctorum in lumine: qui eripuit nos de potestate tenebrarum, et transtulit in regnum filii dilectionis suae, in quo habemus redemptionem per sanguinem ejus, remissionem peccatorum: qui est imago Dei invisibilis, primogenitus omnis creaturæ: quoniam in ipso condita sunt universa in cælis, et in terra, visibilia, et invisibilia, sive throni, sive dominationes, sive principatus, sive potestates: omnia per ipsum et in ipso creata sunt: et ipse est ante omnes, et omnia in ipso constant. Et ipse est caput corporis Ecclesiæ, qui est principium, primogenitus ex mortuis: ut sit in omnibus ipse primatum tenens: quia in ipso complacuit, omnem plenitudinem inhabitare: et per eum reconciliare omnia in ipsum, pacificans per sanguinem crucis ejus, sive quæ in terris, sive quæ in cælis sunt.

Brethren: Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins; Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him. And he is before all, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he may hold the primacy: Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father, that all fullness should dwell; And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth, and the things that are in heaven.

Gradual

Dominabitur a mari usque ad mare, et a flumine usque ad terminos orbis terrarum. Et adorabunt eum omnes reges terræ: omnes Gentes servient ei.

He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the end of the earth. And all kings shall adore Him, all nations shall serve Him.

℣. Potestas ejus, potestas æterna, quæ non auferetur: et regnum ejus, quod non corrumpetur.

℣. His power shall be an everlasting power, which shall not be taken away; and His kingdom a kingdom that shall not decay.

In votive Masses after Septuagesima, instead of the Alleluia and its ℣., there is said:

Tract

Ipse invocabit me, Pater meus es tu: Deus meus, et susceptor salutis meæ.

He shall cry out to me: Thou art my Father, my God, and the support of my salvation.

℣. Et ego primogenitum ponam illum: excelsum præ regibus terræ.

℣. And I will make him my firstborn, high above the kings of the earth.

℣. Et ponam in sæculum sæculi semen ejus: et thronum ejus sicut dies cœli.

℣. And I will make his seed to endure for evermore, and his throne as the days of heaven.

In Paschal time, omitting the Gradual, there is said: Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. Potestas ejus, etc., as above; then:

Alleluia. ℣. Habet in vestimento et in femore suo scriptum: Rex regum, et Dominus dominantium. Alleluia.

Alleluia. ℣. He hath on his garment and on his thigh written: King of kings and Lord of lords. Alleluia.

Gospel

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John.

Cap. XVIII. Ch. XVIII.

In illo tempore: Dixit Pilatus ad Jesum: Tu es rex Judæorum? Respondit Jesus: A temetipso hoc dicis, an alii dixerunt tibi de me? Respondit Pilatus: Numquid ego Judæus sum? gens tua et pontifices tradiderunt te mihi: quid fecisti? Respondit Jesus: Regnum meum non est de hoc mundo. Si ex hoc mundo esset regnum meum, ministri mei utique decertarent ut non traderer Judaeis: nunc autem regnum meum non est hinc. Dixit itaque ei Pilatus: Ergo rex es tu? Respondit Jesus: Tu dicis quia rex sum ego. Ego in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati: omnis qui est ex veritate, audit vocem meam.

At that time: Pilate said to Jesus: Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me? Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence. Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.

Offertory

Postula a me, et dabo tibi Gentes hereditatem tuam, et possessionem tuam terminos terræ.

Ask of me, and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Secret

Hostiam tibi, Domine, humanæ reconciliationis offerius: præsta quæsumus; ut quem sacrificiis præsentibus immolamus, ipse cunctis gentibus unitatis et pacis dona concedat, Jesus Christus, Filius tuus, Dominus noster: Qui tecum.

We offer thee, O Lord, the victim of man’s reconciliations; grant, we beseech thee, that he whom we immolate in these present sacrifices may himself bestow on all nations the gifts of unity and peace, Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord: Who liveth.

Commemoration is made of the occurring Sunday.

Preface

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus: Qui unigenitum Filium tuum, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Sacerdotem æternum et universorum Regem, oleo exsultatipnis unxisti: ut, seipsum in ara crucis hostiam immaculatam et pacificam offerens, redemptionis humanæ sacramenta perageret: et suo subjectis imperio omnibus creaturis, æternum et universale regnum, immensæ tuæ traderet Majestati. Regnum veritatis et vitæ: regnum sanctitatis et gratiæ: regnum justitiæ, amoris et pacis. Et ideo …

It is meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: Who didst anoint, with the oil of gladness, Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the eternal Priest and King of the universe; that by offering Himself a spotless Victim and peace-offering on the altar of the Cross, He might accomplish the mysteries of man’s redemption, and that having subjected all creatures to His dominion, He might present to Thine infinite Majesty an everlasting and universal Kingdom; a kingdom of truth and life; and kingdom of holiness and grace; a kingdom of justice, love, and peace. And therefore …

Communion

Sedebit Dominus Rex in æternum: Dominus benedicet populo suo in pace.

The Lord shall sit as King for ever: the Lord shall bless His people in peace.

Postcommunion

Immortalitatis alimoniam consecuti, quæsumus, Domine: ut, qui sub Christi Regis vexillis militare gloriamur, cum ipso, in cœlesti sede, jugiter regnare possimus: Qui tecum vivit et regnat.

We who have received the food of immortality, beseech Thee, O Lord: that we who glory in our warfare under the banners of Christ our King, may reign with Him for ever in His heavenly swelling place: Who liveth and reigneth, etc.

Commemoration is made of the occurring Sunday, the Gospel of which is read at the end of Mass.

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