Saturday, November 19, 2011

Solemnity of Christ the King

With sunset we usher in the last Sunday of another year of grace, which we mark by our observance of the Solemnity of Christ the King. Our faith holds that at the end of time Christ will return in glory "to judge the living and dead." This is when God's reign will be definitively, universally, and unmistakably established. His has begun among those who already recognize Him and serve Him. Christian communities a sort of like beachheads of God's kingdom in the world. When He returns, who He is will be reveled, unveiled, apokalpysised. So, it is fitting that we celebrate our hope on the last Sunday of the liturgical year. In the hope that reading it and contemplating it beforehand will help us enter deeply into the cosmic meaning of this great day, I am posting the Preface to the Eucharistic prayer for this solemnity:

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give your thanks.

You anointed Jesus Christ, your only Son, with the oil
  of gladness,
as the eternal high priest and universal king.

As priest he offered his life on the altar of the cross
and redeemed the human race
by this one perfect sacrifice of peace.

As king he claims dominion over all creation,
that he may present to you, his almighty Father,
an eternal and universal kingdom:
a kingdom of truth and life,
a kingdom of holiness and grace,
a kingdom of justice, love, and peace.

And so, with all the choirs of angels in heaven
we proclaim your glory
and join in their unending hymn of praise.

Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus...

In the eleventh chapter of Revelation, after the seventh angel blows his trumpet, "There were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdom of the world now belongs to our Lord and to his Anointed, and he will reign forever and ever' The twenty-four elders who sat on their thrones before God prostrated themselves and worshipped God and said:

 'We give thanks to you, Lord God
   who are and who were.
 For you have assumed your great
     and have established your reign.
 The nations raged,
   but your wrath has come,
   and the time for the dead to be
 and to recompense your servants, the
      and the holy ones and those who
   fear your name,
     the small and the great alike
 and to destroy those who destroy the earth'" (15-18).

When the seventh angel blows his trumpet all heaven breaks loose. The return of the One for whom we wait in joyful hope will be astounding! Of course, the imagery of Revelation is highly symbolic and not to be taken literally and is prone to being employed quite irresponsibly. On the other hand, it is important to realize that it cannot be dismissed, insisting that it tells us nothing at all.

1 comment:

  1. (smiles) I believe I may understand you now... Your posts about ideologies.

    And by irresponsibly,,,,, not appreciating the magnitude, significance and impact. Sometimes I hear this quite clearly... I am at this moment.


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