In the 1920s, Mexico went through some of the hardest anti-Catholic persecutions ever known in its history. The clergy had to flee the country. If they refused, they were executed. The celebration of Mass was banned by the government. The government troops would raid churches that refused to comply and execute every single one of those people who defied the president’s tyrannical authority. It was a dark time in Mexico.
Those that remained in Mexico stood up to the government. Many were recruited to be a part of a renegade group that had Christ the King and the Virgin of Guadalupe as their inspiration. They fought the oppressive force. Many would later become martyrs of the church. One of them, St. Jose Sanchez Del Rio was one of the martyrs from Mexico to be canonized by Pope Francis in the fall of 2016.
St. Jose Sanchez Del Rio would be depicted as holding a banner with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He inspired many, especially the rebel leader. The young boy would be captured by the Mexican soldiers, tortured, and killed. The crime was refusing to renounce Christ. His final words at the moment of his death were, “Viva Cristo Rey!”.
Recently, the United States concluded a midterm election. Some celebrate the victories while others mourn the defeats that have happened on the state, local, or federal level. It can be pitiful to see what can happen for the next two years.
However, we should take comfort in the fact that this is only temporary. No matter how many presidents, senators, governors, or representatives come and go, Jesus is still our king. He wants us to prepare for what is to come.
Today, let us take the first step to make God our king for all eternity. Yes, we will be mocked, ridiculed, and persecuted for our faithful witness. At the same time, we should embrace what is to come in the next life. Let us remember that Christ died for us.
Like St. Jose Sanchez Del Rio, we too must be willing to proclaim Christ, even amid pressure to renounce him.
Renounce Satan. Proclaim Christ.
VIVA CRISTO REY!!!!