The people stayed there before the cross watching Jesus. As for the leaders, they jeered at him. ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.’ The soldiers mocked him too, and when they approached to offer him vinegar they said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.’ Above him there was an inscription: ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
One of the criminals hanging there abused him. ‘Are you not the Christ?’ he said. ‘Save yourself and us as well.’ But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus,’ he said, ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ ‘Indeed, I promise you,’ he replied, ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’
Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in 1925. In the 1927 issue of the ‘St Paul: Almanac of the Institute of Mission,’ Joseph De Piro published an article about this feast. In this article De Piro presents Christ as his mentor, master, guru and King.
The feast of Christ the King
Who cannot see the state of upheaval the world is in? After the war, the whole world has found itself in utter confusion. The terrible scourge of the war has thrown the world in great disorder. All the peoples have set themselves up against each other, trying to destroy one another. Society is corrupted and infected with many false and deceptive doctrines, seeking to eliminate religion and promising a peace that can never be achieved.
The Pope has recognised this present state of affairs and wishes to see all the nations united in the love of Jesus Christ. He, therefore, instituted the feast of Christ, King of all peoples so that all people can be reunited under one reign and declare Jesus as their King. Jesus, God and man, is the one true King. As God Jesus is one with the Father, and as man he possesses all authority given to him by the Father. Jesus must be King of the whole world and must extend his reign over all the nations. The world can only find peace in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, it is in vain to look for peace apart from this divine King.
This important feast was truly necessary. It has shaken the world from its obnoxious state of drowsiness and opened in front of it the true way that can lead to peace. This celebration has confounded the wicked to the great consolation of the just and encouraged many missionaries to enlarge the kingdom of Christ always.
Your kingdom come! May the kingdom of Jesus grow and draw to itself the whole. May all peoples bow down in adoration of the divine King and sing him the praises that are his due.