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O Rex Gentium

December 18, 2017

 Dec. 22. O King of the Gentiles and the Desired of all, You are the Corner-stone that binds two into one.  Come, and save man whom You fashioned out of clay.

The Old Testament proclaims God’s kingship over the nations and over the universe because He is the Creator of all: “God is King of all the earth… God reigns over the nations” (Ps. 46, 8); “Proclaim to the nations: Yahweh is King” (Ps. 95, 10).

Israel look forward to a Messiah-King, the gift of God’s tender love for His people: “To us a child is born, to us a son is given whose shoulder will bear the sceptre… Of his dominion and peace there will be no end.  Upon the kingly throne of David he will sit to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness for ever” (Is. 9, 6f).  Over the nations also he will rule: “The Kings of Tharsis and of the Islands (Mediterranean) shall bring him gifts; the kings of Arabia and Seba shall pay tribute to him; all kings shall render homage to him; all nations shall serve him” (Ps. 71, 10f).  It is to him, in a new Jerusalem, that the Gentiles will flock: “The Lord of Hosts says: I will stir all nations; the One Desired by all the nations will come” (Agg. 2,8)

The New Testament completes this revelation of Christ’s universal and everlasting kingship, from the Annunciation (Luke 1, 32) till the Parusia (1 Cor. 15, 25) culminating in the apocalyptic vision of “the supreme King and the supreme Lord” who destroys His enemies with the anger of God (Apoc. 19, 11-16).

Christ is not only King, He is also, through His Passion and Resurrection, the inner link that unifies the community of the elect to form a spiritual Temple.  Breaking down the wall of hostility that divided the Jewish and no-Jewish world, He has united in Himself all believers, making us all “members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and the prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief corner-stone in whom the whole structure is bound together and grows into a holy temple” (Ephes. 2, 14-20; cp. 1 Peter 2, 6).

The New Testament, finally, professes faith in Christ our Creator: “In Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth visible and invisible; all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1, 16).  Being men made from the clay of the earth (Gen. 2, 7; cp. Ps, 138, 15), in our misery and nothingness we look up to Him who is our Creator and Saviour.