Holy Week and Christ the King


Holy Week begins with the celebration of the Palm Sunday and the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem. The traditional palm procession before the Mass in conjunction with the reading of the Passion during the Mass calls to mind the fickleness of human nature. At one moment we cry, Hosanna to the Son of David and then moments later we scream, Crucify him, Crucify him. In the Palm Sunday liturgy, the whole congregation takes upon itself the persona of both the crowd of welcome and the crucifixion mob. . . and it is true to life.

How casually we offend God. How lightly we consider it. In one moment we proclaim our fidelity to Our Lord, like Peter, and in the next we do not know Him.

According to Pius XI, Christ is King both by nature as the Son of God, and by right of conquest through the power of His victory on the Cross. On Palm Sunday, the crowd welcomed the Son of David because of what He had to offer them, such as miracles and hope of deliverance from the Romans. The people were prepared to acknowledge His “kingship by nature” because they thought they had something to benefit by doing so. They were not, however, prepared to accept Our Blessed Lord’s “kingship by right of conquest.” The cross, as St. Paul says, is indeed both a scandal and foolishness to those who are indisposed to take the rights of a King seriously.

How lightly we consider Our Lord’s Kingship. We much prefer the idea of Our Lord as friend. It is much more causal. Indeed, He is our friend. We are heirs to His Kingdom, but there is nothing casual about it.

Our Lord’s throne is the Cross. It is interesting to note that the oldest crucifixes always show Christ standing erect on the cross, eyes wide open and with little sign, if any, of his suffering. These images compress the death and resurrection of Our Lord into one visual moment. More importantly, though, such images remind us of the true nature of Christ’s Kingship. Our Lord reigns as priest and victim. This is how He must be adored, and He will have it no other way. At His name and beneath His Cross, every knee must bend!

Servants of the Great King, do not take this lightly! Do not think that there is anything casual about the service of your King. Holy Week has begun.

Christ yesterday and today, the Beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega. All time belongs to Him, and all the ages. To Him be glory and power through every age for ever. Amen (Easter Vigil).

The kingdom is at hand. The honorable and courteous thing to do for the King of Courtesy is to make a good confession if you have not already done so. Accept the Kingship of Christ and His jurisdiction over your heart. He has won it by right of conquest. You have no other honorable course of action but to surrender.

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