Last year and the year before I wrote briefly about the Solemnity of Christ the King, on each occasion choosing slightly tangential aspects of the feast because I had said more than enough about its history and theology and felt I had nothing left to say. The beauty of the liturgy, however, is that it is always new, always fresh. This morning I was struck by the thought that the kingship of Christ is eternally youthful.
In art, and in our mind’s eye, God the Father is often portrayed as a grandfather-figure with long white beard, but Christ the Lord is always young, always in his prime. We tend to associate rulership of any kind with middle/old age but this feast challenges that. Again, the Rule of St Benedict comes to my aid. In chapter three, On Summoning the Brethren for Counsel, Benedict is at pains to point out the need for the abbot to listen carefully even to the most junior monks, for they often have insights not given to their elders. It can be hard for the older monks, but our common enterprise means we must lay aside our prejudices and attend to the voice of the Spirit. As with the monastery, so with the Church. However grey-headed we may appear outwardly, inwardly the Church is always youthful for the simple reason that Christ is Lord.
Today, when we pray for the reign of God to come among us, for the restoration of all things in Christ, we are not praying for something static, for a kind of archeological reconstruction of something old and lost, we are praying for something vibrantly new, a kind of cosmic re-tuning. We are praying for Christ to come among us in all his power and glory, knowing that in Him we too will be made new.