The Novena to Christ the King will begin with Day 1 on November 17th, 2023.
In the essay published in October of this year, we reflected on the parables of the Kingdom as criteria of discernment according to the spirituality of Regnum Christi. Furthering this reflection as we approach the solemnity of Christ the King, we want to ask for the grace to take on the traits of the kingdom that the gospel suggests to us, by continuing to “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 13:14)
When we make this reflection, it helps us to measure how much the gospel has taken root in our lives and to discern the ways in which the mission may continue to develop according to these principles, rather than falling back solely on principles of efficiency and human logic. When we are attentive to the guidance that Christ gives us, we can be confident that “The Kingdom of God is among you.” (Lk 17:21) It is a Kingdom that is like the wheat among weeds, a mustard seed, leaven in the dough, and treasure found in a field.
In the Gospels, Jesus also mentions some elements of the Kingdom which we must assimilate into our lives if we want to be true witnesses of his love: Christ’s kingdom is not a Kingdom of this world, but it is present in it; it’s a Kingdom moved by the impulse of love; it’s not built on our human securities; it’s a Kingdom of friends, not of servants; it’s a Kingdom of those who do not seek to be served, but to serve.
This year the Solemnity of Christ the King is celebrated with a liturgy of the Word that places the parable of the Kingdom front and center: the parable in which Jesus reminds us that he dwells in each person and that whatever we do with any of his little ones, we do to him. He himself, his Kingdom, his love, becomes present when we welcome others in their need and destitution, because he himself chose poverty, the cross, and the necessity of going out to meet us and share his love with us.
Meditating on the Kingdom that Jesus Christ came to establish, which is actually Christ himself, will help us in our daily struggle to become more like him so that we can make him present here and now.
Practical note: The novena consists of an opening call-and-response, followed by the relevant gospel verse, a moment of silence, and an optional reflection which may be said aloud or reflected on individually. Then the concluding prayer and invocation are said.