Well, this weekend we are actually celebrating the world weekend for young people and so what it means to be a young person is anyone from the age of 12 until the age of 40; so welcome young people, I am no longer one of you!
And as we celebrate this Feast of Christ the King, I just thought it would be good to use some images that maybe young people could understand, and I want to focus ultimately on what it means for Christ to be the King of the Universe. So, that’s the feast day we are celebrating today, Christ the King of the Universe. Now it’s interesting; I am going to talk to you about a bit of recording artists. When they record, they give up their rights to their original recordings to the record companies, and there’s an interesting line in the contract; it is a common phrase in the contracts. So recently, there was a Bulgarian Folk singing group on America’s Got Talent. They found this line in their contract; they said they would give over their rights, and everything they gave over could be edited in all forms of media throughout the Universe in perpetuity. So, they’re giving away their rights for all time, which is what perpetuity means and also Across the Universe. Isn’t that strange? The record company would say that we own here in this world or country, but we acknowledge your rights across the Universe. It is interesting because this language was written back in the ’70s or ’80s. They were trying to get around any issues where somebody might try to own the rights, and some way or another, so they just decided we’re going to hold the rights for the whole Universe and anything you give to us we own.
It’s interesting because we’re expanding and sending rockets to space; we are looking at Mars, and Elon Musk wants to create this interplanetary human culture. So, this Universe, the idea of the Universe, is significantly expanding right now in our time. Taylor Swift is another one you may have known recently; she’s re-recording all of her albums. So if you’ve noticed, she decided to go back from her original album and re-record it. Why is she doing that? Well, because the record companies own her original recordings and so because they own it, they can do whatever they want with it, make as much money as they want with it and decide only what she can be a part of. Netflix also does this. So, if you are making a movie right now and you will put it on Netflix, Netflix will own your movie in perpetuity across the entire Universe. I am sure some of you remember Prince back in the day. So, Prince was battling with the record company, and he decided to change his name, and by the way, his name from birth was Prince. But the record company owned the name and all of his material; they owned the name Prince. So, he didn’t even hold his name anymore. He decided he would buy a symbol; I don’t know if you remember, but it was that weird symbol that Prince came out with, and then when it started to make the news, the news media didn’t even know how to handle it. So, they said, we’re just saying, cause how do you say a sign, we’re going to say the artist formerly known as Prince, and so he became the artist formerly known as Prince. Why? Because the record company owned his name and all recordings in perpetuity across the entire Universe.
So, I just wanted to use that as an example of what it means to own something throughout the Universe. When Prince made one of his videos after he was first releasing his new name, the video began, and he’s singing, and as he’s singing, the camera moves up to his face, and as he turns his face, you see the word “slave” written on the side of his face. What he was letting the world know was that he was a slave to the record company. The record company literally owned him.
Well, what does that have to do with all of us in Christ the King of the Universe? Well, the reality is Christ is our King, and He’s our King in perpetuity, and that means our Eternal King, and He’s our King throughout the entire Universe, so he has sole rights to us. We are, in a sense, as Paul says, slaves to Christ because He’s our King; He is our ruler; He’s the one that we ultimately pay any allegiance that we have to Him. This feast day of Christ the King didn’t come about in our Church until around the year 1925. Pope Pius the XI is the one that created this feast day and wrote a beautiful document about how Christ is the King of the Universe, and he did that at that time for a particular reason. So, in 1925, if you go back, World War I had come to an end, and there was a brief time of peace before WWII would enter in, and during this time, what was happening in our history is called the era of the great totalitarians. There were these great figures that were rising in the world; so think Mussolini, think Hitler, think Fidel Castro; these superpowers were rising in our world, and they were trying to take domination, not only of their country, not only of Europe but they were trying to take over the world. In doing so, they were creating some of the most horrific human tragedies our world would ever know. Please think of the Holocaust, think of genocide, think of the great tragedies of our world where millions, and millions and millions and millions of lives were lost because of dictators. So, Pope Pius XI wrote this especially because he wanted us to know that Christ is our King, that no dictator on earth is our King.
It was also a time of great socialism and communism where people were brainwashed into these horrible things that would bring about, as I mentioned, some of the great tragedies of our world. So, he wanted to reaffirm again the Dominion of Christ the King, not only the King of our country, not only the King of our continent, not only the King of our world but Christ the King of the entire Universe. I don’t know if you’ve ever wondered if there is life out there, you know, are there aliens out there, and if they are, how would they know about Christ? He’s the King of the entire Universe, and so He has His ways of reaching out to all of us. So, Christ the King, established in 1925 by Pius XI, proclaimed that no earthly power could claim superiority to the religion of the Catholic Church in the name of Christ. Again, because Christ is the King, no earthly power can get rid of that; no earthly power can remove Christ from being the King. He said that that’s of powers and morality and spiritual truth, that Christ is the King of morality. So, no matter what our world teaches about morality, the truth of Christ the King ultimately is what we must follow. He says that some states and peoples were subject to natural law, which transcends both authority of the ruler and the will of the people. So, he’s saying there is a natural law written in our hearts, and anytime any power on earth goes against that natural law, we are to reject it because Christ is our King.
We know that in our era, we are struggling with a lot of these things culturally, politically, globally, all of these things, and it’s so important to remember that any ideology that comes out that is against the ideology of Christ. We are supposed to reject it, and we’re supposed to hold firm to him being our faith. We all know that the dignity of the human person from conception until natural death is revealed as not only a natural law but as a law given to us by Christ, and so we can go through the issues of abortion. Though our culture may accept abortion, we always hold to the truth in the beauty of goodness that life begins at the moment of conception, and so we hold that life is sacred. We can talk about marriage, in our culture; marriage is being destroyed and even the identity of what it means to be male and female, these are natural laws that our Christ the King has given to us, that marriage is to be upheld as a Sacrament between a man and a woman, to bring forth life in this world.
No matter the area, one cannot say in work for your job or maybe it’s in governments or perhaps it’s in school or maybe it’s in whatever you may be involved in, one cannot say, “well I believe in this personally, but I’m going just to accept all these other things because that’s the way that it is.” If our schools teach something that is not right and shouldn’t be taught, we have to work hard to overturn that. If governments are doing things that are not right and need to be correct, we have to overturn that. If you’re in a job and start noticing things in your company that are not right, you have to work to overturn that. Recently in Facebook, there was a whistleblower who released 900 pages of documents; she had discovered that Facebook was using anger to keep people engaged, and she found, she was a researcher in that area, both in psychology but also in neurology, just basically how people are wired for anger, and so she released this document that she got and, of course, was probably fired from Facebook. But she was exposing the reality that they were preying on anger. She released the same thing on Instagram that Instagram was preying on young girls and making them insecure. She said the fascinating thing was that when girls would look at other images of other beautiful perfect girls, they would get insecure, but instead of turning it off, it caused them to go more into Instagram and just get more and more hooked into it. And she said Facebook knew this and knowingly created algorithms that would capitalize on that to keep people more invested in that company. So, what I’m saying here is as we become more socially integrated like this and as companies become more and more powerful, we have to be more and more cautious and brave to address things that may be wrong.
I want to read you the last paragraph of the document where he says, ‘if to Christ Our Lord has been given all power in heaven and Earth it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from His empire, not only any part of our bodies, soul, or mind, but any of us as people we all must be given over His power, and it must be clear that He must reign in our minds which assent to the perfect submission and firm belief to the revealed truths of Christ and his Doctrine.’ So, maybe there are some things in the Catholic Church that you don’t understand or agree with. I would encourage you to think about approving your faith to that but also learning more about it. Why does the Church teach it? Instead of saying I don’t believe in it or agree with that, learn what the Church teaches before you dissent from that. Fulton Sheen always used to say that many people hated what they thought the Church was, but few people hated the actual Church. So many people have a wrong idea or impression about the Church and its teaching and hate it because they don’t fully understand it. So, He says we must follow his doctrine, so He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God; He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies, and our members, which should serve as instruments in the sanctification of our souls, or to you use the words of Saint Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.
So, as I end and we focus finally on Christ the King of the Universe, we must all realize that he is our King and that we owe Christ all of our allegiances, that we will promise always to be faithful to Him. We will profess it in just a moment in our Creed and that anything else that would teach anything contrary to Christ or contrary to the Church must be rejected. We must be strong in our faith, and we must be integrated, in every part of our lives, personally and publicly. We all must serve Christ. As these recording artists do, we all must give ourselves entirely to Christ in perpetuity, to be our King, to be our King, to the end of the Universe.