The King Before All Things
Brothers and sisters,
Before we move into Advent, let’s pause to ponder a great gift of our tradition in the Church - the Solemnity of Christ, King of the Universe. So much of how we understand the two seasons of Advent and Christmas should flow from this day.
On December 11, 1925 Pope Pius XI affirmed in his encyclical Quas primas that Christ Jesus is the first reason and final cause of all existing things. He did this in the face of a rising tide of facism, and when he did, Franciscans around the world took note. Why? Because this teaching on Christ the King reflects Scripture, tradition and the deep insights of Franciscan theology.
In 1307, Bl. John Duns Scotus used this understanding of the primacy of Christ to defend his ideas about the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After more than 600 years, the Church made the insights of this humble friar official. Christ the King and the Immaculate Conception are connected – and they both point to Christmas! Perhaps this is the reason we have the hymn from Colossians in Evening Prayer II on Christmas:
Blessings in these holy seasons,
The Pastoral Visit: A Privileged Moment
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