Christ the King  
(John 18, 33-37)  
royaume de Dieu The pope Pius XI introduced the celebration of the King Christ on the 11th of December 1925 by the encyclical “Quas primas”. However in the context of the time we may wonder which kingship was meant. Is it really the kind of kingship that the Gospel is talking about?
The words “king, kingship and kingdom” were widely used by the Jews who had a monarchy for five centuries before Jesus-Christ. However the kingship is something special in Israel. In the Bible the king has not an absolute power. It is God who is king; it is him and only him who governs his people. The king is only his subordinate who has to give to the people, of whom he is responsible, the example of the fidelity. It was the lack of fidelity of Salomon to the Alliance with God that put an end to the kingship in Israel. Nevertheless, the belief in a Messiah to restore the kingdom of Israel was well spread at the time of Jesus. It was specially supported by the humiliation felt by the Jews under the occupation by the Romans and their desire of not losing their own identity The disciples believed until his departure that Jesus came as the Messiah to re-establish the kingship “Lord, is it now that you are going to re-establish the kingdom in Israel?” (Acts, 1)  
In regard to this expectation, Jesus used words with some ambiguous meanings. There are two ways to understand them. He started his predication by announcing the proximity of the Kingdom of God (or Kingdom of Heaven which is the same) under this name we can effectively imagine a spiritual kingdom as well as a temporal kingdom. Personally, Jesus kept his distance in regard to the title of King given to him; he went away when people wanted to make him a king (John 6, 15). However he recognized for himself a kind of kingship in front of Pilate trying to find a reason to condemn him “ You said it, I am a king” (John, 18, 37). If Jesus was using these words of the Jewish tradition; it was in a biblical sense. If the kingdom is a reality, this kingdom is not of this world. It has nothing to do with power, with the police or the army. Jesus is clear about it: if my kingdom were of this world, “ my servants would fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews” (John 18, 36). His kingdom is lacking in any political connotation. In the Gospel, the Kingdom of God is already present in our world although it is infinitely small and not much visible, like a sowed seed or the leaven in a dough, that is full of unsuspected potentialities.  
Le Christ-Roi If there is a king, it is another kind of king: when the people acclaim Jesus on the Palm Day, he mounts a donkey, a mount for the poor. His strength showed up in his gentleness, his absolute power in the helplessness of a convict nailed on a cross. The Highest made himself the Lowest. He is called king by mockery; he is clothed with a ridiculous royal coat and crowned with thorn bushes.
However the kingship of love burst out from this abasement, a love able to transform the people and the whole universe. It is this kingdom that Jesus came to announce; he opened it by freeing the prisoners, by healing the sick, by bringing back the excluded from the society. This task is our own now.
In the beginning of the XX century, when the celebration of the King Christ was introduced, the Church in fact wanted to restore the power it was losing in a context of secularization. This was close too the triumphant kingship that the first disciples were waiting for.
Making use of a mighty God for our own purpose is an always-present temptation. However it disfigures the image of a humble God, a suffering and amazingly loving God revealed to us by Jesus.