.- Speaking on the Solemnity of Christ King yesterday in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed that men and women must freely accept the Love and Truth that Christ offers in order to receive the peace and joy of God’s reign.
Prior to praying the Angelus with the gathered crowd the Holy Father recalled how today's Gospel reading recounts the meeting between Jesus and Pontius Pilate.
"Answering the Roman governor's questions, Jesus affirms His kingship but says it is not of this world. He did not come to dominate peoples and lands, but to free mankind from the slavery of sin, and to reconcile him with God. And He added: 'For this ... I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth,'" the Pope said.
"But what is this 'truth'," the Holy Father asked, "to which Christ has come to bear witness in the world?" And he answered: "His entire existence reveals that God is love. This is, then, the truth to which He bore full witness with the sacrifice of His life at Calvary. The Cross is the 'throne' from which he demonstrated the sublime regality of God-Love. Offering Himself in atonement for the sin of the world, He defeated the dominion of 'the ruler of this world' and definitively established the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that will be fully realized at the end of time, after all the enemies - and in the last instance, death - will have been defeated. Then the Son will consign the Kingdom to the Father and, finally, God will 'be everything to everyone.'”
"The road to reach this goal," the Pope added, "is long and no shortcuts are allowed. Indeed, it is necessary for each individual to freely accept the truth of God's love. He is Love and Truth, and neither love nor truth ever impose themselves; they knock at the door of the heart and the mind and, where they are allowed in, they bring peace and joy. This is the way God reigns, this is His process of salvation, a 'mystery' in the biblical sense of the word, in other words a plan that is revealed little by little over history."
Benedict XVI concluded his remarks by pointing out how "the Virgin Mary is associated with Jesus' regality ... God asked that humble girl from Nazareth to become the mother of the Messiah, and Mary answered this call with all of herself, uniting her unconditional 'yes' to that of the Son Jesus and making herself, with Him, obedient even unto sacrifice. For this reason, God exalted her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth."