Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christ the King

Christ Pantocrator mosaic. Duomo, Monreale, Sicily. c. 1180.
Now, in the iconography of Christ, one image of Jesus blends into another. Jesus was priest, prophet, king, sacrifice, Redeemer and Savior. There is an image of Jesus, in priestly robes projected, in front of the cross, both crucified and glorified.

To-day, in the new calendar, celebrated on the last Sunday of ordinary time, the feast of Christ the King. This was instituted by Pius XI for the Sunday, prior to All Saints, beginning in 1926. So that, the whole world could acknowledge the rĂ´le of Christ.

In the Cristeros rebellion of Mexico in 1927, the cry was Viva Cristo Rey! The governments of many lands were contrary and hostile to Christ and his followers. Atheism and persecution was the worldly response in the twentieth century. The new mass readings are apocalyptic, and reminds, that Jesus will be judge, at the end of the world.

Christ Pantocrator, Ruler of All, is an earlier representation, and is still popular in the byzantine world. Jesus is seen, half figure, blessing with His right hand, holding the book or globe in His left. In churches, this image would be on the central dome or on the ceiling, over the nave. Christ in Majesty, Majestas Domini, has Jesus seated, as on a throne, as ruler of the world. Salvator Mundi, Savior of the World, Jesus’s right hand is in blessing, whilst His left hand holds a, crossed orb, a globus cruciger.

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