This Sunday is the Solemnity of Christ the King — properly “Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lord of the Universe” — the last Sunday of the liturgical year, before Advent begins it anew, when we celebrate Jesus’s Divine Kingship over all Creation.
I had a brief thought this morning at Mass, in response to the criticisms of some Protestant friends, that Catholic worship is “empty ritual” or “rote.” When the king of a great earthly kingdom visits — when the President of the United States, or the Queen of England, or a senator or a governor or even a powerful CEO, makes an appearance — there is an expected protocol, an established ceremony, in welcoming that person and celebrating his or her presence. The act of that ceremony — and the people’s participation in it — shows that person the honor, respect, and reverence befitting his or her position.
How much the more should we do the same for the Almighty King of the Universe, the Lord of All Creation! Our liturgy — all the texts, and psalms, and chants; all the vestments and vessels and incense; all the buildings, all the art, all the music — they are to honor our King, to celebrate His Presence, His coming to us in the Sacraments; to lift high His Name, in heavenly praise with the angels — but also to magnify Him before all the world. Almighty God, the King of the Universe, took on flesh and walked among us, and still He is in our midst, in His Holy Spirit — and in His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. How can we not do these things?