by Clyde Ericson Nolasco
November 24, 1996, exactly 23 years ago when I first wore my cassock as a sacristan. It was still dark when I left our house with excitement going to our parish to join the dawn procession. It took weeks of observations, practices and memorizations before I was totally accepted to serve at the altar. I can vividly remember that the cassock I received was not new. There was nothing special with it. It even needed a lot of detergent to at least pass as a new one. It was even too long for me that I even had it altered. It was nothing, the cassock was nothing to be special. I continued to be a sacristan in our parish for the next six years, then became a youth minister and eventually entered the seminary and be involved in our parish formation programs.
It’s just after so many years when it dawned on me that that day was not just an ordinary Sunday but an extraordinary one. It was the Solemnity of Christ the King.
In 1925, Pope Pius XI proclaimed “Pax Christi in regno Christi” (“The peace of Christ in the reign of Christ”) as he instituted a feast honoring Christ “the King” to celebrate the Jubilee Year and the 16th centenary of the Council of Nicaea. But more than these reasons, the feast was instituted to reverse the effects of World War I and the exploitative consequences of consumerism, secularism and injustice. Powers were misused and Jesus the true King was being forgotten. The solemnity aims to remind us that He has sovereignty over all of us, that no ruler is above the Christ.
November 24, twenty-three years ago, on the feast of Christ the King, little did I know that that day would be the start of great and new things in my life. Christ the King is on the week before the liturgical year ends. It signals the start of the new liturgical cycle. Let us be thankful for the year that passed and be hopeful for the year that the Lord will bless us. This is the more proper time for Catholics to have a resolution as we prepare for the new liturgical year.
The year may have been very bountiful for us — successful relationships and flourishing careers, may we be reminded that above all these, it is Jesus who must always reign in our lives. Nothing should replace Him on the throne of our hearts. I may have had a lot of accomplishments, but I must always remind myself that it is through Him that I have received all these. He is the cause of all these great things in my life. Without Him, I am nothing.
Let us stop crowning and crucifying Him on the same day as what is told in the Scripture. Let our lives continue to glorify the one and only King!
“Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!”