According to Raniero Cantalamessa (Nov. 19, 2004), “the solemnity of Christ the King, as an institution, is quite recent. It was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 in response to the atheist and totalitarian political regimes that denied the rights of God and of the Church. The climate in which the feast was born, for example, is that of the Mexican Revolution, when many Christians walked to their death crying till their last breath: ‘Hail Christ the King!’” Of course, although the institution is quite recent, the content is not, nor its central idea, which is “Christ reigns.” In the phrase, “Kingdom of God,” the genitive “God” is a subjective genitive that means “God ‘kings’ or reigns.
Could we make a parallel with the institution of the feast of Christ the King in 1925 during the rise of Marxist Communism, and the celebration of the feast in 2008 at the deconstruction of world Capitalism coincident with the debacle of Wall Street in the fall of 2008. Could it be that both economic and political ideologies, communism and capitalism, are precisely that, ideologies as abstractions from the real world, each containing a part of the truth but isolated from the existential reality of the working person. Because that is the dynamic existential that really must be the defining center of a new world culture and a globalism that embraces the autonomy of nations as “subjects” that “find self by the sincere gift of self.”
This is perhaps the deepest truth at work at the present moment that is yet to be glimpsed. That is, that the deconstruction is taking place so that a new defining dynamic may be put in place. And that dynamic, the working person, has Jesus Christ the worker as protytpe Who reveals not only the meaning of God, but also the meaning of man. What is at stake here writ large now in the catastrophes that are taking place precisely at the beginning of this third Millennium of Jesus Christ – 9/11 and the economic collapse of 2008 – is the clearing of space for a reconstruction on the true anthropology that is necessarily a Christological dynamic: finding self by gift of self. And this is the deeper meaning of the Feast of Christ the King. It is a move from object-structure (ideology) to subject person-working (act of self-giving).