THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
The Feast of Christ the King
25 October 2020
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The Kingdom of Jesus Christ is not of this world, but it must be brought into this world. His Kingship is not worldly, but is, rather, spiritual. We are beings with both bodies and souls. With our bodies, we reside in this world for a time, but our souls continue forever, even after we die. The purpose of life in this world is to prepare ourselves for eternal life in heaven, as opposed to eternal suffering in Hell. We must strive to live now as we hope to live eternally. If we live this life in the love of God, we can reasonably hope to spend an eternity loving God. If we live this life in opposition to God, we can reasonably assume that we will spend eternity in Hell far away from Him.
The prayer that Jesus taught us explicitly asks that the Kingdom of God in Heaven enter into us and our lives here and now on earth. This bringing forth of God's Kingdom is not for His benefit. God needs nothing from us. Bringing His Kingdom into our lives is strictly for our benefit. This Kingdom is spiritual, yet it is meant to be materially present in our lives. This is why Jesus was born, this is why He came to us.
The Kingdom of God is not in opposition to any legitimate government in this world. In fact, the Kingdom of God supports and upholds the earthly kingdoms whether they realize this or not. All power and all authority come from God. The Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. He lives in Her and through her in this world. The teachings of the Church are very clear that we are called to be good citizens of whatever government we find ourselves under.
Anarchy or disorder is not from God. Our Holy Mother the Church forbids us from promoting these evils. If we have been wronged, we are not thereby authorized to render evil for evil. Jesus set aside the old law of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. In the Kingdom of God living in this world, we must patiently and lovingly bear the evils inflicted upon us. This is not to allow evil to prosper or to let the evildoers get away with some crime. The Church, and therefore Jesus Christ, teaches us that sin in all its forms and all its degrees must be condemned. If we are in a position of authority we must patiently and lovingly correct, rebuke, admonish, and even punish when this is necessary. When we are not in this position then we are to imitate Jesus even more closely by patiently bearing with the injuries and our crosses, and even praying for those who are sinning. Jesus prayed from the Cross: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing." This should become our mindset also, as we bring forth the Kingdom of Heaven into our lives.
It is through patient suffering and loving example that we build up the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. Souls are not won for Christ by force, but rather by love and patient humble suffering even in the face of evil.
The Kingdom of Jesus Christ is not a worldly Kingdom of gold and silver, of castles and palaces, but rather of sanctified souls living Christ-like lives. When we allow Jesus to live within us, conforming our wills to His, we are bringing the Kingdom of God into this world. With each soul that begins or increases in the love of God, the Kingdom of Heaven is built up. In this way, the Heavenly Kingdom enters this life and this world.
There are no monetary taxes to be collected, there are no roads or infrastructure to be built, there is no standing army needed. Many in this world may be in opposition to this Kingdom and Christ the King, but Jesus and His Kingdom are not in opposition to anyone in this world. God only opposes sin. Jesus only hates sin. The King loves and compassionately forgives every truly repentant sinner.
If we are truly living in the Kingdom of God we become increasingly more like Our King Jesus Christ. We should render to the world what is of the world, and render to God what is God's. Everything is God's, but He gives the material things to the world for its use. What God desires is our hearts and souls our love. When we truly love, God lives within us, His Kingdom has come to this world. Let us keep His Kingdom alive within us in this world in all that we do so that we may peaceably continue in this Kingdom in Heaven.
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