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Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

November 24, 2018

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!

Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

The Gospel of Saint John 18:33b-37

Pilate said to Jesus: “Are you the King of the Jews?”  Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?”  Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I?  Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”

Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world.  If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.  But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”  So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king.  For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

Today, our Liturgical year culminates in this glorious celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.  The reading from the Book of Revelation announces boldly the identity of our Savior: Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born from the dead and ruler of the kings of earth!  Jesus Christ is the King of Kings – the Ruler of the kings of the earthKing of the Universe!  

Pope Benedict XVI taught: Jesus is so intrinsically king that the title King has actually become his name.  The King is Jesus; in him God entered humanity and espoused it to himself….  Therefore, it is most appropriate for this Sunday to be devoted to Our Lord, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

In 1925, with an encyclical entitled Quas Primas (In the First), Pope Pius XI instituted this solemn feast of Christ the King.  With this encyclical and feast, the Church confronted the evil spirit of secularism, the idolatry of man worshipping himself and the work of his hands!  Secularism flourishes as more and more individuals isolate their lives from God.  It appears that man worships only himself and what he considers important — no longer is Sunday the Lord’s Day!

Secularism does not have just a passive influence on our culture.  In our own time, it has become an aggressive force that desires to marginalize Christians and to remove God from all social consciousness.   Christianity is accused of being problematic. References to God and Christ are seen as intrusions into individuals’ personal lives.  Prayer has been withdrawn from most public functions, and efforts continue to remove from the Pledge of Allegiance the words: … under GodMerry Christmas, Christ’s Mass has been replaced by Happy Holidays.  The excuse given is that the greeting, happy holidays, is less offensive and more culturally inclusive.

And so, Catholics boldly celebrate that Jesus Christ is king of our hearts, our lives, and the universe!  This Solemnity is more important than ever. The Gospel of Saint John set the record straight: JESUS CHRIST IS KING!  God is the source of all life and love, and in return, God rightfully deserves our respect, obedience and love.  And, in addition, we are called to be like God in whose image we were created. 

Through God’s generous gift of Baptism we were anointed kings in the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.  We are kings because Christ has entrusted to us responsibility for His kingdom – a kingdom that does not belong to this world!  By the light of Baptism we know well that we are destined for the eternal Kingdom of God.  The things of this world, while good are not eternal, and do not deserve our undivided attention.  Only the King of Kings and His kingdom deserver our complete attention.

In imitation of Jesus, we, the baptized are commissioned to testify to the truth and to extend His kingdom by bringing Christ’s words and actions into every corner of our home, workplace and neighborhood.  We belong to Christ, the truth and therefore listen to (His) voice. In turn, our grace-filled voices are to influence relatives and neighbors alike.  CHRIST IS OUR KING, AND WE ARE HIS KINGLY PEOPLE!

Prosit,

Monsignor Joseph Marino

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