On Sunday, November 22, we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe. Instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI, the day is meant to remind the faithful that Jesus Christ should reign in our minds, our wills, and our hearts over and above any earthly ruler or material good.
Given the circumstances of this year, in which we have been spending an increasing amount of time in our houses, we invite you and your family to intentionally make Christ the “king of your home.”
What might that look like?
Our Lord would have understood a king to be one who rules, protects, and leads those over whom He had authority and those entrusted to His care.
What does it mean for Jesus to be the “ruler” of your home?
It might mean that your family takes stock of your use of time. Is Sunday set aside as a day of worship and leisure, a time to connect with one another and to reflect on God’s love? Does your family eat meals together and thank God for the gift of nourishment? Do you try to construct a schedule that allows you to find at least a few minutes of heart-to-heart conversation with God each day? Is that an order to your home life, in which your family members’ minds, bodies, and souls are fortified?
What does it mean for Jesus to be the protector of your home?
During these difficult days of the pandemic, we are aware of the responsibility we have to protect others’ physical well-being, particularly the vulnerable, from COVID-19 by implementing safety measures. To ask God for the preservation of your family’s physical health is a good prayer. Do you also ask him for the spiritual protection of your family? Do you ask Jesus to shield your spouse and children from spiritual warfare or malaise? This solemnity is a time to ask the Lord to strengthen your marriage and family life and to guard it from all things which threaten its stability and health, whether visible or invisible.
What does it mean for Jesus to be the leader of your home?
For Jesus, to lead is to serve. This is an opportunity to examine how your family is doing in terms of serving one another in ordinary ways, without counting the cost. It’s an opportunity to take stock of how your family can share your blessings with neighbors who are in need. It is a chance for spouses to assess how they can better support one another and for children to examine how well they are listening to their parents and demonstrating love for their siblings.
In response to lockdowns and limitations on worship, many bishops have invited the faithful to “make home a holy place.” On this Solemnity, we encourage you to invite Jesus to rule, protect, and lead your family in holiness during this next liturgical year.