Long live the king!

by Kevin Birnbaum

Today, the last Sunday of the liturgical year, is the solemnity of Christ the King, established by Pope Pius XI in 1925. As Father Christopher Fadok, OP, pointed out in his homily this morning, the very idea of a king offends Americans’ democratic sensibilities, and we tend to assume that king = tyrant. But, he said, St. Thomas Aquinas argued that the difference between a king and a tyrant is that a tyrant ultimately serves himself, while a true king is a shepherd who serves the common good of all.

Christ, of course, is “the good shepherd” (Jn 10:11) who lives and dies for the good of all humanity. He is no tyrant. He is the king of the universe who gives himself up to be humiliated at the hands of his subjects.

The above statue of Christ the King in Świebodzin, Poland, is said to be the tallest statue of Jesus in the world. Completed on Nov. 6, 2010, it stands 33 meters (108 feet) tall and weighs 440 tons.

Photo by Mohylek.