A Royal Corner in St. Joseph’s Church
As we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, one of the devotional statues as well as the stained glass windows here in our church can help us contemplate Christ’s Kingship.
The statue of Christ the King is found at the back of our church, on the left side against the wall as you enter. The crowned figure appears tall, regal, and commanding yet peaceful: the folds of his garment are straight – indicating a steady stance – yet his cloak, or outer garment, appears weightless, full of movement – not obeying the laws of gravity, as it were. He holds with utter confidence the orb surmounted by a golden cross. That is the symbol of his authority over all the earth, won through his Passion and total submission to the will of the Father. Christ the King greets visitors with a solemn expression and a blessing: his right hand is lifted with three fingers in the gesture of blessing of the Trinitarian God.
Look to the left of the statue and find the stained glass window of the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume, who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair (Lk 7:37-38). The Pharisee does not approve, but Jesus forgives her because she loves much. She recognizes Jesus as the one who has the power to forgive sins; He is worthy of costly perfume and homage. In that way, the scene contributes to our understanding of the Kingship of Jesus.
Above this scene, in a small, round window high up in the wall, we see an angel holding a crown. His magnificent red wings contrast nicely with the deep blue background. He seems ready to place the crown on someone’s head – perhaps that of the repentant sinner? It is a beautiful reminder of the heavenly reward which awaits us if we turn to God and persevere. We will receive a crown and share in his Kingship!
Finally, look to the right of the Christ the King statue. Do you see a crown in that window? In the center of the window is the Lamb of God with the Resurrection banner. On the left is the monogram of the Holy Name of Jesus, IHS. Then, on the right, is the Crown of Thorns. This, too, tells us something of the mystery of Christ the King: his Kingdom is not of this world, and it is won through humility and obedience even unto death, death on a Cross (Phil 2:8).