Novus Ordo: A diversion from Christ the King

ChristTheKing 11-2015Tomorrow on the Novus Ordo calendar (November 22, 2015) is the “Solemnity Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe”

I recently wrote about the impoverished sermons that typically mark this day: Specifically, one all-too-often hears (and not exclusively in Novus Ordo Land either, I’m afraid) that the Kingdom of Christ is not in this world; His dominion is not concerned with matters temporal and political, but rather is it essentially spiritual in nature.

In other words, it is imagined that the dominion of Christ is confined to the individual soul; a notion that runs counter to the true and immutable doctrine expressed in Quas Primas – the Encyclical with which Pope Pius XI established the Feast of Christ the King in 1925.

At best, a Novus Ordo goer might be reminded that the Lord, as Creator of Heaven and earth, necessarily reigns over all of the created order. While this is most certainly true, the problem lies in the fact that the Feast of Christ the King isn’t really about this; rather, it is about the Kingship that was given and belongs to Jesus Christ as man.

As Pope Pius XI explains:

But if we ponder this matter more deeply, we cannot but see that the title and the power of King belongs to Christ as man in the strict and proper sense too. For it is only as man that he may be said to have received from the Father “power and glory and a kingdom,” since the Word of God, as consubstantial with the Father, has all things in common with him, and therefore has necessarily supreme and absolute dominion over all things created.

The temptation to preach about the supreme dominion of the Creator over all that He has created, in spite of the actual purpose of the Feast of Christ the King, comes in part from the so-called “Responsorial Psalm” found in the Novus Ordo Propers for this day:

R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed;
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.

Though one might labor to make the case that this Psalm prophetically looks ahead to Jesus Christ by virtue of its anthropomorphizing components (regal garments, a throne), the text is clearly ordered toward praising the Creator who reigns “from of old.”

By contrast, the Propers for the Traditional Latin Mass are ordered toward the reign of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and reflect the social dimension of His Kingship.

The Gradual, for instance (to cite just one example), is taken from Psalm 71 which reads:

“He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the end of the earth. And all kings shall adore Him, all nations shall serve Him.”

Could it be that the “experts” who crafted the Novus Ordo Missae chose Psalm 93 deliberately in order to divert attention away from the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ – a decidedly Catholic doctrine – in favor of a text that highlights a teaching that both heretics and Jews can accept?

Only a fool can believe otherwise.

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