¡Viva Cristo Rey!
Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
¡Viva Cristo Rey! (which means “long live Christ the King!”) was the motto of the Mexican Cristero movement that rebelled against the oppressive government of Mexico in the 1920’s.
The secularist government of Mexico, under the leadership of President Plutarco Elias Calles, decided to enforce the strict anti-clerical laws embedded in the 1917 Mexican constitution. All religious ceremonies – Masses, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, etc. – were banned, bishops were forced to leave the country and priests were forbidden from wearing clerical garb in public. Priests who resisted were imprisoned, tortured or killed. The 2012 movie, “For Greater Glory,” tells the story of the rebels who warred against the Mexican government for the restoration of religious freedoms.
As we end the liturgical year, the readings for this weekend focus on the kingship of Jesus Christ. The Word of God became incarnate in the womb of Mary and was given the name Jesus. Joseph was his foster father and he was thus born in the line of David, Israel’s greatest king. The angel Gabriel told Mary that “the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father” (Lk 1:32) and “of his kingdom there will be no end” (Lk 1:33). In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear about magi from the east who seek out the newborn “king”. When the angels announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds they called Jesus Messiah (anointed one) and Lord.
The reading from the Letter to the Colossians says that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God…”; “in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…” and “in him [Jesus] all things hold together.”
As we prepare to begin another year of grace, we ponder the mystery of Christ’s kingship. Do I honor him as Lord of my life? Have I placed any other things above him? Am I a loyal member of his kingdom? This feast invites us to reflect on the Lord’s kingship.
¡Viva Cristo Rey! – Long live Christ the King!
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life,