FOR THE FEAST
OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
KING OF THE UNIVERSE
Bishop Rene Henry Gracida
Ximena Guadalupe Magallon Galvez was just a few weeks old when her parents took her on a visit to their family in Sahuayo in the State of Michoacan in 2014. During the visit Ximena Guadalupe became ill and developed a high fever.
A doctor thought that Ximena Guadalupe might have pneumonia and sent her to a hospital. The doctors in the hospital decided she did not have pneumonia but were unable to treat her fever.
The doctors then changed their diagnosis to meningitis and blood infection.
Over a period of several months Ximena Guadalupe’s condition got progressively
worse and her diagnosis was changed to tuberculosis, she had a stroke and 90% of her brain declared dead.
Ximena Guadalupe’ mother, Paulina Galvez Avila had been going to church every day praying to a fourteen year old boy who had died in Sahuayo in 1928 asking him to intercede with Our Lord Jesus Christ for her daughter.
When the doctors told Paulina Galvez that they were going disconnect all life support from her baby she asked to be allowed to hold Ximena Guadalupe as she died. The doctors disconnected her and handed her to her mother.
Paulina says that at that moment “I mentally put my baby in God’s hands and begged
the intercession of Joselito (the 14 year-old boy) and at that moment Ximena opened her eyes, smiled, looked at the doctors and started laughing with them.”
The doctors took Ximena to do a CT scan and an encephalogram and saw that 80% of her brain had recovered and when they did another scan the next day they saw that her brain had become completely healthy again.
Who was the 14 year-old-boy Paulina had begged to intercede with Our Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of her baby, Ximena?
He was Jose Sanchez del Rio. Jose Sanchez del Rio was born on March 28, 1913. On February 10, 1928 he begged his mother to allow him to join the Cristeros, a large group of Catholic men who rebelled
against the persecution of the Church by the Masonic President of Mexico, Plutarco Calles.
Jose Sanchez del Rio was captured, imprisoned and sentenced to death.
He was tortured and shot to death on February 10, 1928.
He was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on November 20, 2005.
And the miraculous healing of Ximena was accepted by the Church in the cause of his canonization and he was canonized by Pope Francis in Rome last month on October 16.
Here is a quotation from a letter Saint Jose Luis del Rio wrote to his aunt from prison the day before he was martyred:
“Say hello to everyone and receive, as always and finally, the heart of your nephew who loves you so much and wishes to see you. Christ lives, Christ rules, Christ reigns !!! Long live Christ the King and Our Lady of Guadalupe !!!
Jose Sanchez del Rio,
who died in defense of his faith.
Do not forget to come.
Neither Jose Sanchez del Rio nor you or I know what it is to live under an earthly king, so what could have prompted the Cristeros to adopt Christ the King as their leader and Saint Jose Sanchez del Rio to die for him?
Pope Pius XI, in his 1925 encyclical Quas Primas establishing the feast of Christ the King, reminds us of key texts for us to reflect upon today. In response to his disciples who were coveting positions of power, Jesus said that those who are rulers over the Gentiles make their authority over them felt. In his kingdom, however, whoever wishes to be great must be a servant, for he tells them that he himself “did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10:35-45).
To Jesus, the king anointed by His Father, all power in heaven and on earth was given; yet he issued no imperial decree to be enforced by the power of the sword. Rather he said to all who would listen, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am
meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:28-29).
This is a king?
It is on the cross that Jesus ultimately reveals what it means to be king. The supreme power and glory of God that Jesus reveals is love. And in a world under Satan’s reign of evil violence, it must be crucified love.
Even though he challenges us to become engaged in the struggle to establish Christ’s kingdom of justice and peace on earth, Pius XI calls us to a choice even more fundamental. In his encyclical, the Pope connects the feast of Christ the King to the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As king, Jesus gave his heart to us.“Lifted high on the cross, Christ gave his life for us, so much did he love us” (Preface for the feast of the Sacred Heart). He did so asking that we give our hearts to him.
At our Eucharist today we pray that each of us may truly believe that Jesus “the Son of God has loved me and given himself up for me” (Gal 2:20). And we ask for the grace to respond to this supreme love by giving ourselves and entrusting our lives to his reign. Perhaps for many of us, we may only be able to repeat the words of the criminal dying on his own cross: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
[Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B.]
VIVA CHRISTO REY