O King of the nations, you alone can fulfil their desires; cornerstone, binding all together, come and save the creatures you fashioned from the dust of the earth.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
You can listen to this antiphon, sung in its original Latin form, here.
The image of Christ as king is probably not as accessible or attractive to us today, as it was to bygone generations, where subjection to monarchic rule was the overriding political and civic reality for most people, most of the time. Monarchs today occupy a strange limbo zone, loved and revered in a limited way, but no longer regarded as the wielders of decisions at a national or international level, nor as ultimate sources of authority over what really matters.
In any case, today’s secular world tends to regard authority figures at best with ambivalence and at worst with suspicion, if not active distrust. Allegiance or obedience, in anything more than a conditional sense, is rare. So the image of Christ as king and cornerstone, not one authority among many, to be swapped over, when a better deal is forthcoming from an alternative source, but the ultimate authority over the fabric of life and death, the ultimate authority over our life and our death, is a countercultural, even an alien concept for us, in some ways.
The Christian faith rests on that premise, however. Christians believe that when the kingdom of God comes in its entirety, the universality of that authority will be made clear. In the meantime we wait, like resistance fighters in the garrigue, quietly identifying ourselves as belonging to Christ, wearing his badge and living according to his way, doing our best to sabotage evil in the world wherever we can, armed with “the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17).
Something to read: Psalm 118
Something to wonder about: How does the way the 21st C regards authority feel to you? Do you think we are happier human beings without that element in our lives? If not, why not?
Something to take it further: Make a wreath to represent the crown of Christ and hang it on your front door. You can find some clear and easy instructions for how to go about making simple, but effective, seasonal homemade wreaths from natural materials here.