Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honor. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. (Apocalypse 5:12; 1:6)
The Lamb in Glory
Holy Mass opens today with a glorious revelation. To reveal is to pull back the veil. And so, on the threshold of the Holy Sacrifice, the Introit pulls back the veil of the heavenly sanctuary, allowing us to see the very mystery that on a rainy August night in 1879 was revealed at Knock: the immolated Lamb in glory, standing upon the altar, worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honor.
The Introit of today’s Mass reveals three things: man’s true King: Christ, the High Priest and the Lamb of Sacrifice; man’s true home: heaven; and man’s true work, the work for which he was created in the beginning: the praise of God. These are the ultimate answers to the questions that torture so many souls in the search for meaning.
The Sacred Heart in the Home
Without a king, mankind falls into every manner of division. Nations are set against nations. Chaos prevails over peace. Even the sanctuary of the home is shaken by rebellion, torn asunder by greed, poisoned by materialism, and defiled by infidelity. Irish homes were once known for the kingship of the Sacred Heart over the family. A little light burned before an image of the Sacred Heart: a silent flickering witness to the family’s resolve to live under Christ, with Christ, and for Christ. Was this not a way of saying, “In this house we place ourselves under the kingship of Christ; in this house, we look towards heaven as our true and abiding home; in this house, what matters above all else is that God be praised and glorified”?
The Collect of the Mass tells us that for which we must pray; it makes us ask for the very thing that God the Father desires to give in response to our prayer.
Almighty and eternal God, Who didst will to restore all things in Thy beloved Son, the King of the Universe, graciously grant that the peoples of the earth torn asunder by the wound of sin, may submit to His most gentle rule.
The Father wills to restore all things in His beloved Son, the King of the Universe: all things, beginning with the heart and foundation of human society, that is, holy marriage. The kingship of Christ advances so often as a man and women pronounce the vows that unite them in love until death, in a love that is open to life, a love that is faithful, strong, merciful, hospitable, and sacrificial. The restoration of all things in Christ begins not in schools, not in government, not in courts of law, but in families.
Open the Door
All around us we see evidence of a world “torn asunder by the wound of sin”. The Collect tells us that for this disunity there is but one solution, and for this wound but one one remedy: submission to the gentle rule of Jesus Christ. Christ the King stands humbly at the door of every home, asking to be welcomed within. “Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Apocalypse 3:20).
Impious Principles of Revolution
For more than three centuries now, Western man has been schooled in the principles of a Godless, bloody, and impious program of social revolution: liberty, equality, and fraternity. This false liberty leads to dictatorships and to cruel oppression. This much–vaunted equality offered leads to the killing of the unborn and of all whom a Godless society judges too old, too sick, too frail, or of no value. This mockery of fraternity leads to the hatred of fatherhood and motherhood, and to a continuous replay of the revolt described in Psalm 2: “The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord and against his Christ. Let us break their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us”.
These impious principles of revolution have, almost imperceptibly, so penetrated the minds of men that the very notion of kingship has become suspect. Kings, we are told, are to be feared, not trusted. Kings, we are told, are better uncrowned, dethroned, and exiled. And yet, the words of Jesus to Pilate remain. They cannot be changed, nor adapted, nor updated, nor explained away:
You say it: I am a King. This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. (John 18:37)
The words of the Eternal Father addressed to His Christ cannot be changed. They abide forever. Their fulfillment is utterly certain:
Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for Your possession. (Psalm 2:8)
The King Waits Upon Our Word
Between the words of the Son, given us in the Gospel, and the fulfillment of the words of the Eternal Father, given in the Offertory Antiphon, there must be a word on our part. A word, I say, not in the sense of the mere articulation of a thought, but a word that is a free act, a resolution, a consecration, a decision. Jesus, the King of Love, waits for our act of submission to the rule of His Heart over us. The image of the Child King drawn by Mother Yvonne–Aimée and the Little Invocation that she received from Our Lord help us to express that word from us for which the Heart of Jesus waits: “O Jesus, King of Love, I trust in Thy merciful goodness”.
Here there is nothing to fear. Here the only risk is the risk of happiness, of peace of heart, and of eternal life. The Preface of the Mass will describe the King of Love: “a spotless Victim and peace-offering on the altar of the Cross”. His is “an everlasting and universal Kingdom; a kingdom of truth and life; a kingdom of holiness and grace; a kingdom of justice, love, and peace”. With such a King and with such a kingdom, what have we to lose?
Open wide to the King. “Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in”. Ask Him to establish His Kingship in every place, beginning with your own heart, your own life, your own family and home. “O Jesus, King of Love, I trust in Thy merciful goodness”. Jesus Christ is the King to be trusted over all the kings of the earth. His power is infinite. His rule is gentle and meek. His mercy is unfailing. His goodness inexhaustible. Who would not want to be the subject of a such a King? Who would not want to live forever in such a Kingdom?