O Christ, exercise all thy rights over us!
Fr Ireneusz Skubis
The Feast of Christ the King, which crowns the liturgical year and the local elections direct our thoughts to authority, exercising power, and furthermore, they make us formulate fundamental principles that should be the basis for all governments worldwide. Both the first and the second readings and the reading of the Gospel stress that Jesus Christ God-Man is the King above all rulers of the world.
In the acclamation we read, 'Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord, blessed is his coming kingdom'. This is an important and valid reminder of the Church about what should be most important for those in power and what finally takes place in man's conscience and is included in the answer to the question: Were you good to others? Thus we can again examine our conscience concerning our activities for the good of the community.
The Gospel provokes us to reflect why Lord Jesus, who as God could do all things, made himself available to people intoxicated with the greed for power. Certainly, he knew what the end would be! What did he want to tell us? What is the limit of your goodness? Has good any limit? In the situation, which is extreme from the human point of view, Jesus argues, 'For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth'. What is the truth about us, our intentions in political fight, the real aims we have...
We are observing a big run to hold power in the world, to rule over others. Naturally, there are various ideas and their justifications but it is known that human power is needed because it orders social life. But if power is to bring about development of the society and not to lead it astray it should be accompanied by deep reflection and wide-open heart. The laws people make cannot contradict the natural law and God's law. All those who desire power should be aware of that. Therefore, the most important law of all people in power, especially the Catholics, is the law of God's love. It is true that people will talk about just distribution of goods, about settling accounts with one's behaviour, etc. but the Latin proverb says, 'Summum ius - summa iniuria' ('ultimate right - ultimate injustice'). We understand that the most important law is the law of love and the biggest power is the power of service. These principles build the kingdom of peace. We wish every authority, including power in our homeland, aspired to realise this kingdom...
These principles to exercise power are not mysterious, undefined, unknown; they even do not require special studies or initiations. They are inscribed in man's conscience. This is some God's apparatus in each of us, indicating what is good and what is wrong in man's behaviour.
The Feast of Christ the King has been the patron feast of the Catholic Action in Poland and in the world since 1925. Being in London I had the occasion to meet Polish members of the Catholic Action. I was impressed to see our brothers being involved in building the structures of God's kingdom on earth. I want to remind us that the Polish Martyrs of World War II, beatified in 1999 by John Paul II, included Stanislaw Starowieyski, a landowner in Laszczow, husband, father and zealous activist of the Catholic Action as well as a martyr of Dachau. Let us ask through his intercession for God's graces for this organisation and its members. Let us devote all our efforts and prayers to do good, having in mind the crown of thorns, the agonising face of Christ - the King of the Universe.