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Posted by on Nov 26, 2007

Feast of Christ the King – The Reign of God

Feast of Christ the King – The Reign of God

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“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him.

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent.

For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross (through him), whether those on earth or those in heaven.

And you who once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him”

                                                                                     Colossians 1:14-23

The feast of Christ the King is very recent. Pope Pius XI established it in 1925 to reassert the centrality of Christ in a world confronted with communist atheism and secular agnosticism. The feast is widely observed by other liturgical denominations, including Anglicans and Lutherans.

The feast of Christ the King was originally observed on the last Sunday of October, closer to all Saints Day, November 1. After the reforms of the church calendar in 1965, the feast was moved to the last Sunday of Ordinary Time – the Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent. It is the last Sunday of the liturgical year and provides a culmination that is solemn but not triumphal.

Strictly speaking, the term “basilea” in Greek is not equivalent to our sense of “kingdom” in the sense of territory. Scholars prefer terms like reign or dominion. The reading from Colossians – the second reading of the day – more aptly summarizes the meaning of the feast. All creation was made for Him and in Him and the love of Christ rescues us from our alienation from ourselves and our true meaning.

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