Uncompromising Loyalty to our King |
Solemnity of Christ the King
Comprehensive Catholic Commentary
Fr. George Leo Haydock
Editor's Note: We continue this special feature provided by John Gregory with the Haydock Commentary found at the bottom of each page of the Douay-Rheims Bible. With the type so small in most bibles, we publish it here in larger type in conjunction with the Epistle and Gospel for the Sunday Mass, with the cogent comprehensive Catholic Commentary penned by Father George Leo Haydock. For the Double of the First Class Solemnity of Christ the King Father Haydock provides all the proof necessary to illustrate the Sovereign Kingship of Christ over all in Heaven and on earth; something lost on most who inhabit this planet. St. Paul, in addressing the Colossians, gives an adept explanation of why Jesus is King once and for all and the Lord affirms this when confronted by Pilate for it confirms that he was betrayed by one and put to death by another. Our Lord asserts that His kingdom is not of this world and if we are to remain His loyal subjects we must unite with Him in suffering so that we may be worthy through His merits to enjoy eternal life in His kingdom.
Epistle: Colossians 1: 12-20
Giving thanks to God the Father, Who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love,
in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins;
Commentary on Verse 14 It is through the blood of Christ, and not by the law of Moses, that we are freed from the power of death. If the law could have saved us, the coming of Christ would have been useless. See then, he says, if it be proper to engage under a law which is so inefficacious. (Calmet) --- From this verse and from ver. 12, et alibi passim, we are taught that we are not only by imputation made partakers of Christ's benefits, but are by his grace made worthy thereof, and deserve our salvation condignly, ex condigno. (Bristow)
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Commentary on Verse 15 The first[2 Primogenitus omnis creaturĉ; προτοκοσ πασέσ κτιεοσ prototokos pases ktiseos. St. Chrysostom, log. g. p. 103. ό προκτιστοσ, αλλ προτοτοκοσ...όκόν έκτισται. protoktistos, alla prototokos....oukoun ektistai.] born of every creature. St. John Chrysostom takes notice against the Arians, that the apostle calls Christ the first-begotten, or first-born, not the first created, because he was not created at all. And the sense is, that he was before all creatures, proceeding from all eternity from the Father; though some expound the words of Christ as man, and that he was greater in dignity. See Romans viii. 29. (Witham)
For in Him were all things created in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and in Him.
Commentary on Verse 16 Thrones, &c. are commonly understood to refer to the celestial hierarchy of Angels, though as to their particular rank, &c. nothing certain is known. We may here observe, that the Holy Ghost proportions itself and speaks according to our ideas of a temporal kingdom, in which one authority is subject to another. In the same manner the Angels seem subordinate to one another. (St. Dionysius in Calmet) --- All things were created by Him, and in Him, and[3 In ipso constant; έν αυτο συνέστέκε en auto sunesteke.] consist in Him. If all things that are were made by Him, He Himself was not made. And His divine power is also signified, when it is said all things consist or are preserved by Him. (Witham)
And He is before all, and by Him all things consist
And He is the head of the body, the church, Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He may hold the primacy:
Commentary on Verse 18 He is the head of the body, the church. He now speaks of what applies to Christ as man. --- The first-born from the dead; i.e. the first that rose to an immortal life. (Witham)
Because in Him, it hath well pleased the Father, that all fullness should dwell;
Commentary on Verse 19 In Him it was pleasing, that all fulness should dwell.[4 In ipso complacuit. We may rather understand Deo than Patri. So St. Chrysostom, p. 105. τέν θέλσιν τ&x03CC; Θέό, τότο γαρ έστιν οτι έν αυ αυτ &epison;υδοκεκε ten thelesin tou Theou, touto gar estin oti en auto eudokese.] The greatest plenitude of graces was conferred on Him as man, and from Him, as He was our head, derived to all the members of His Church. The Protestant translation, followed by Mr. N. by way of explanation adds, it hath pleased the Father; but, as Dr. Wells observes in his paraphrase, there is no reason to restrain it to the Father, seeing the work of the incarnation, and the blessings by it conferred on all mankind, are equally the work of the blessed Trinity, though the Second Person only was joined to our nature. (Witham)
And through Him to reconcile all things unto Himself, making peace through the blood of His cross, both as to the things that are on earth, and the things that are in Heaven.
Commentary on Verse 20 To reconcile all things unto Himself,...through the blood of His cross, (i.e. which Christ shed on the cross) both as to the things on earth, and....in Heaven: not that Christ died for the Angels, but, says St. John Chrysostom, the Angels were in a manner at war with men, with sinners, as they stood for the cause and glory of God; but Christ put an end to this enmity, by restoring men to His favor. (Witham) --- In Heaven. Not by pardoning the wicked angels did Christ reconcile the things in Heaven, but by reconciling good Angels to man, who were enemies to Him before the birth of Christ. (St. Augustine)
Gospel: St. John 18: 33-37
At that time: Pilate therefore went into the hall again, and called Jesus, and said to Him: Art Thou the king of the Jews?
Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of Me?
Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered Thee up to me: what hast Thou done?
Commentary on Verse 35 It pleased God, that Christ, Who was to die both for the Jews and the Gentiles, should be betrayed by the one, and put to death by the other. (Bristow)
Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now My kingdom is not from hence.
Pilate therefore said to Him: Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice.
Haydock Commentary for the Feast of Christ the King