Christ the King by St. Josemaria Escriva
The liturgical year is coming to a close and in the holy sacrifice of the altar we renew the offering of the victim to the Father — the offering of Christ, the king of justice, love and peace, as we shall read shortly in the preface. You all experience a great joy in your souls as you consider the sacred humanity of our Lord. He is a king with a heart of flesh, like yours; he is the author of the universe and of every creature, but he does not lord it over us. He begs us to give him a little love, as he silently shows us his wounds.
Why then do so many people not know him? Why do we still hear that cruel protest: “We do not want this man to reign over us”? There are millions of people in the world who reject Jesus Christ in this way; or rather they reject his shadow, for they do not know Christ. They have not seen the beauty of his face, they do not realize how wonderful his teaching is. This sad state of affairs makes me want to atone to our Lord. When I hear that endless clamour — expressed more in ignoble actions than in words — I feel the need to cry out, “He must reign!”
Many people will not accept that Christ should reign. They oppose him in thousands of ways: in their attitude toward their circumstances, in their approach to human society, in morality, in science and the arts. Even in the Church itself! “I am not referring,” says St Augustine, “to those scoundrels who blaspheme against Christ with their tongues. There are very many who blaspheme against him through their own conduct.”
Some people are even annoyed by the expression “Christ the king.” They take naive objection to the word, as if Christ’s kingship could be thought of in political terms. Or they refuse to admit that Christ is king, because that would involve accepting his law. And law they will not accept, not even the wonderful precept of charity, for they do not want to reach out to God’s love. Their ambition is to serve their own selfishness.
For many year now, our Lord has urged me to repeat a silent cry, Serviam: “I will serve!” Let us ask him to strengthen our desire to give ourselves, to be faithful to his calling — with naturalness, without fuss or noise — in the middle of everyday life. Let us thank him from the depth of our heart. We will pray to him as his subjects, as his sons! And our mouth will be filled with milk and honey. We will find great pleasure in speaking of the kingdom of God, a kingdom of freedom, a freedom he has won for us.
His kingdom will not achieve its perfection on earth. The definitive judgment of salvation or condemnation will not be made here. It is rather like sowing seed, like the growth of the grain of mustard seed. At its finish it will be like the net full of fish — they are all thrown out on the sand and sorted into those who led a just life and those who did evil. But as long as we live here the kingdom can be compared to yeast which a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour so that the whole batch was leavened.
Anyone who understands the kingdom Christ proposes, realizes that it is worth staking everything to obtain it. It is the pearl the merchant gets by selling all his property; it is the treasure found in the field. The kingdom of heaven is difficult to win. No one can be sure of achieving it, but the humble cry of a repentant man can open wide its doors. One of the thieves who was crucified with Jesus pleaded with him: “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”