Nine Days to Christ the King: Introduction

Each year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Christ the King on the last Sunday of the liturgical year. We crown the closing year by proclaiming Jesus to be King and Lord of history, of the world, of the Church, and of our hearts. In celebrating Christ as King, we renew our allegiance to him and our desire that he might have absolute reign in our lives. As a Church, we also renew our hope that his kingdom will one day come in its fullness when all things are summed up in Christ (cf. Ephesians 1:10). 

The Solemnity of Christ the King offers us the opportunity to reflect on the kingdom that Christ came to establish. He himself made clear while on earth that his kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). The nature of Christ’s kingship is unlike that of any earthly power. His criteria challenge our own criteria,  invite us to see our lives anew in the light of his life, and allow us to be transformed by his love. 

As we journey through this novena, we will reflect on various facets of Christ’s kingdom. We will see him choose the way of humility and service over that of power and dominion. We will contemplate a king who empties himself completely in order to give life to his people. We will consider the thrones he has chosen to occupy: from the manger, to the mountain, to the cross. We will ask him to teach us to embrace his criteria so that we, too, might reign with him. 

The reflections offered in this meditation novena are made up of three parts. The first consists of a passage, usually from the Gospel, and a reflection for our meditation. The second offers several questions that can help us to delve deeper and apply these reflections to our lives. The third is a short prayer to sum up the day’s meditation. 

The reflections are at the service of our prayer; our prayer is not at the service of the reflections. You are invited to take the part of the proposed meditation that is most helpful to you and to use it as a springboard to enter into conversation with Our Lord. Perhaps for some, it will be helpful to underline an idea or two that most speaks to your heart and then go back over these, trying to discover what Our Lord might be saying to you. It is neither possible nor desirable to unwrap every one of the ideas that are offered. We need to know how to listen for the prompting of the Spirit and follow his lead to the one or two considerations that will lead us to encounter Jesus in our prayer. 

Through walking with Jesus during these days of the novena, may we open our minds and hearts to be touched and transformed by him. May we be led to pray with ever deeper longing: “Christ Our King, Thy Kingdom Come!”

 

 

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The Kingdom without End:
A Retreat Guide on Christ the King

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