November 2000, Volume 6, Issue 4

Christ, Our King

by Joseph Marcello

The Feast of Christ the King that we celebrate during this month reminds us that the Son took on our human condition to redeem, sanctify and sustain us.

Every time we step into a church, we dip our finger in the holy water font, make the sign of the Cross and repeat the words: "In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Every time we kneel down to pray, either in church before Jesus in the tabernacle, or at home, we make the sign of the Cross and say: "In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." We say these words every day, almost without thinking of them. Yet these very words are at the heart of our Christian faith. They put into intelligible language the very nature of God: for He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thinking about the Trinity can be intimidating because we know that the Trinity, in the final analysis, is far beyond our limited powers of understanding. If we are at the beach and swim far out into the ocean, into waters so deep that we can't see the bottom, we think we are out as far as we can go. But in relation to the whole, vast ocean, we have barely gotten our feet wet. And so it is with God. On the other hand, thinking about the Trinity should be very natural to us because we are made in the image and likeness of the God.

The Feast of Christ the King that we celebrate during this month reminds us that the Son took on our human condition to redeem, sanctify and sustain us. As our Holy Father recently said during a Wednesday audience in Rome, " this mystery which infinitely transcends us is also the reality closest to us, because it is the very source of our being. For in God we "live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). In the depths of our being, where not even our gaze can penetrate, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God in three persons, are present through grace.

When we were baptized we began to share in the life of the Trinity. With the pouring of water and the invocation of the formula given to the Church by Christ the King, the Holy Trinity came to dwell in us. Baptism is a rite of initiation into the Church and into the Trinity. Just as Christ was anointed as Priest, Prophet and King, so too we are anointed to in baptism. We received a share of Divine Love at our baptism and as Saint Paul says: "we did not receive a spirit of slavery, but a spirit of adoption through whom we cry 'Abba, Father!" At our baptism, we were chosen by God to share in His Son's Kingship.

With this month, the Church brings to a close another liturgical year. Like the Trinity, the resurrection of Christ is also a mystery in the most profound sense. The depths of its reality are far beyond our powers of comprehension. Yet the resurrection, the central point of human history, is like the trinity in that it is fundamental to our human existence. Since sin disordered God's plan for our life on earth, Christ's breaking of the bonds of sin and death are necessary if that plan is to reach its fulfillment. Just as the Trinity is the very source of our being, so too is the Resurrection the source of our hope for the fulfillment of our being. How appropriate, then, that this great Feast of Christ the King should end with Christ the King, since the work accomplished for us by Christ in His Resurrection will reach its ultimate end in the Trinity.

These are the truths of our Faith. On the one hand, they seem infinitely beyond 0our grasp, and in a sense they are. But on the other hand, through divine revelation and grace, we can penetrate into these mysteries for a glimpse into the immensity of god's love for us and into the grandeur of his plan for us.