CHAPTER III. JESUS CHRIST ANNOUNCED BY THE PROPHETS AS TRUE KING OF OUR HEARTS
IT was written in the eternal decrees that Jesus Christ should come into the world invested with regal dignity. This we find recorded in the pages of the Old Testament. Let us open Isaias, where the Prophet invites us to behold Sion, that is to say, the Church of the New Testament, the mansion of plenty: "Look upon Sion, the city of our solemnity ... a rich habitation." (Is. xxxiii, 20.) Now, who shall be the judge of this renowned city? Who its law-giver? Who shall be its king, if not Jesus Christ Himself? "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our law-giver, the Lord is our king: he will save, us" (Is. xxxiii, 22.) Therefore, Our Saviour, that is, Jesus Christ, will be Himself the Judge, the Saviour, the King and Lord of the Church of the New Covenant.
From Isaias let us pass on to the Royal Psalmist, who says expressly that Jesus Christ "shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth" (Is Lxxi, 8.) But in order that we may not be mistaken as to the nature of this future King of the world, in order that we may not falsely imagine, as did the material-minded Jews, a conqueror clad in armor among his soldiers, in a rich chariot drawn by slaves, instead of a gentle and lovable king; the prophet Zacharias depicts Him surrounded by the attributes of poverty and humility, and as not disdaining to make His entry into proud Jerusalem seated on the humblest of steeds: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy King will come to thee, the just and saviour: he is poor and riding upon an ass and upon a colt, the foal of an ass" (Zach. ix, 9.)
Let us take good heed of what the prophecies tell us about the future Redeemer, so that we may realize His figure in all its sweet and tender majesty. For the Jews are not the only ones who go astray concerning the royal dignity of the Messias. There are not a few
Christians who would have Him to be as their gross and earthly minds conceive Him. If he is King, they say, let Him rule whether by love or by force, whether by sweetness or by terror; let Him bow down His enemies and, if need be, destroy them. If He does not do this, where is His regal dignity; where is His power?
The better to understand what, according to God's design, was to be the nature of the reign of Jesus Christ, it will be useful to appeal again to the testimony of Isaias, who among the prophets of old is the one who best draws the figure of the incarnate Word. Now what says this Seer of Consolation whose words are rather those of an evangelist or apostle than of a far-seeing prophet?
Isaias, son of Amos, speaking expressly of Jesus Christ Our Lord, says that He, coming into this world, will sit on the throne of David, and receive the kingdom of David as His portion, confirming it in judgment and justice thenceforth forevermore. "He shall sit upon the, throne of David and upon his kingdom: to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and forever." (Is ix. 7.)
But in order to show that this kingdom is to be spiritual, not temporal, the Prophet enumerates with great precision the especial titles of this King of love: "And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace" (Is ix. 7.)
Now, Jesus is truly the Wonderful, the Admirable, by excellence. Admirable in His mysterious conception; admirable in His birth from a Virgin as lowly as she is noble and exalted; admirable in His life of holiness and charity; admirable in His teaching and His miracles; admirable in His passion and death; admirable in His glorious resurrection. He is admirable not only in Himself, but in His saints, in whom He works, through His counsel, His inspiration and His grace, great and wonderful deeds. He is called the true God, because the Son of the Father and consubstantial with Him: for this reason all the angels owe Him adoration even when they see Him humbled and despised.
But the Admirable One, this Man-God, although gentle and meek as a lamb, is nevertheless to be a great hero. He does not display His strength by slaying His foes or gaining great earthly victories, but by undergoing labors, contradictions and torments and even the death of the cross. He is strong to destroy the kingdom of His most powerful enemy, the devil, by means apparently humble and weak. He is the Father of a race of men who are to be new creatures in Him, begotten of the word of truth. (James i. 18) His especial mission is the bringing of peace into the world, that "peace of God which surpasseth all understanding" (Phil iv. 7), which peace is to reign in the hearts of all His true children.
We may well picture, in the compendious description of the future Messias given by the Prophet Isaias, the amiable figure of our most sweet Lord Jesus Christ as we see it represented in the picture of the Sacred Heart, such as Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque caused to be spread all over the world, according to the revelation vouchsafed to her. Well may we, when gazing on this picture, reflect on these glorious attributes given by the Prophet Isaias to our blessed Saviour. This reflection will help us to understand how those glorious prophecies came to be fulfilled, and how Jesus Christ, entering this world, made His entry as King—King of our hearts.