Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, November 22
With Christ Jesus As My Eternal King and Lord and Savior, Do I Truly Serve His Kingdom by the Way I Live My Life, by the Way I Profess My Faith?
In today’s Second Reading, we hear in Saint Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, “…then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.”
On this Thirty-fourth and last Sunday in Ordinary Time in our liturgical year, we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the universe, a day in which we honor Jesus Christ as universal “King of kings and Lord of lords”, holding dominion over all creation.
And we are reminded in today’s Gospel that His Kingdom is a Kingdom of Love and Mercy, but our entrance into our eternal home is first determined through God’s exercise of Divine Justice.
And we hear our Lord proclaim what it will be like at the end of time as we know it, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”
And then He tells us how the sheep who have lived a Christ-like life, with acts of charity and selfless love, will be joyfully received into His Kingdom. But the goats, who have lived lives of selfishness and self-centeredness will be cast “…into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
In all that our Lord taught us throughout the course of His three-year ministry concerning the life which awaits each of us who leave this world in His friendship, God’s Kingdom is one in which Jesus’ Sovereignty is supreme, for His is a Kingdom of truth and life, a Kingdom of holiness and grace, a Kingdom of true justice, love and peace.
And by virtue of our Baptism into the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, His is the Kingdom of which you and I, with the help of His grace, will become co-heirs and fellow citizens with all the saints – all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith.
For those who have been following these daily meditations since they started over eleven years ago, we have reflected numerous times on God’s unfathomable Love and Mercy which He has for His children. We have reflected on God’s Word with regards to faith, hope, and our dependence upon God and the intimate relationship we should be living with Him.
And our Scriptures, both today and throughout the year, bring us that awesome awareness that this God whom we call our own, this God who is our Good Shepherd and who laid down His life in the Person of His Son for His sheep, this God who owes us nothing but offers us everything! – is a God who, as the Book of Revelation tells us, is the “King of kings and Lord of lords” who will be “…coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him.”
For “Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.” And He declares to us in no uncertain terms – “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, ‘the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.’”
In today’s Readings, we are catechized as to the awesome wonder of our God, a God who desires to lose no one, a God who, as He speaks of Himself from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, “…will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep.”
He is a God who says to each of us, “I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal…”
But, in the midst of His Infinite Love and Mercy, God reminds us also of His Divine Justice, “…but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly…I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.”
And, without being judgmental but rather observing everything objectively and without prejudice, we find, in untold societies throughout the world – cultural and ethnic hatreds, violence, religious intolerance, starvation and disease for millions of people!
For we live in a world and a culture today which prefers to separate itself from the will of God, especially when we witness societies and governments embracing a culture of death in which abortion is legalized and euthanasia becoming more and more acceptable in ever-increasing areas of the world!
We live in a world and a culture today which prefers to re-write the definition of marriage, no longer recognizing the special gift which God gave to His creation, no longer recognizing the unique complementarity which exists between a man and a woman – for the purpose of fulfilling God’s plan of a loving relationship which generates new life!
And we live in a world and a culture today which seems to thrive on the concept of selfish and ego-centric thinking, a way of life in which there is no longer an absolute Truth, and in which society makes new gods and new truths in promoting its own self-interests!
In all of this, our Lord reminds us today that a day will come, in the fullness of time and in accordance with God’s will, that the Son of Man will come in all His glory, and “He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” – separating them for the Final Judgment in which the “King of kings and Lord of lords” will make all things right in keeping with His Divine Justice.
Today, however, God calls both you and me to become the faithful sheep who give witness to what we believe. We are each called to love God and to love one another; and, in so doing, we are each called to embrace His Commandments and the Beatitudes which our Lord taught us.
We are each called to embrace the teaching authority of our Church, and to respect and comply with the various disciplines and precepts of our faith, which are designed for our own spiritual benefit and for the greater glory of God, always remembering the petition which we place at the Throne of our Heavenly Father each and every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer – “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
You and I know how this story will one day end. God’s Love for His children will not be compromised – for the Eternal “King of kings” will be victorious over all His enemies.
And the Scriptures present us with the choice between two kingdoms – the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness.
The choice is ours to make!
The question which each person must ask him or herself is, “Which kingdom do I serve by the way I live my life? Do I live by God’s Truth, or do I live my own truth?”
To accept Christ Jesus as our Eternal Lord and King is to enter into a Kingdom that will last forever – where righteousness, peace, truth, love and true joy shall always dwell. The decision is ultimately ours! It always has been, for that is the gift of free will which God has given to each and every one of us.
In our daily lives, may we always recognize that Jesus Christ is not only our Lord and Savior, our Most Intimate Friend and Brother, but that He is also our God and our King, and that there should be no other god in the life we live.
And may He always be the Lord and Master of your heart and mine, so that we may find ourselves, one day, standing at the right hand of the “King of kings” in all His Glory – giving honor and praise to His Father and ours in God’s Eternal and Heavenly Kingdom, for that is where our citizenship truly lies!
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Look! I myself will search for my sheep and examine them. As a shepherd examines his flock while he himself is among his scattered sheep, so will I examine my sheep.” (Ezekiel 34:11b-12a)
- “I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will search out, the strays I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal…” (Ezekiel 34:15-16a)
- “…but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd them in judgment…I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.” (Ezekiel 34:16b, 17b)
- “Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25)
- “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” (Matthew 25:31-33)
- “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)
- “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” (Matthew 25:41)
- “Jesus answered [Pilate], ‘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.’” (John 18:36)
- “Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him.” (Revelation 1:7ab)
- “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, ‘the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.’” (Revelation 1:8)
- “He wore a cloak that had been dipped in blood, and his name was called the Word of God. The armies of heaven followed him, mounted on white horses and wearing clean white linen. Out of his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he himself will tread out in the wine press the wine of the fury and wrath of God the almighty. He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.’” (Revelation 19:13-16)
- “…Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever [and ever]. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6)
Prayer for the Day
“O Christ Jesus, Eternal Lord and Savior,
I acknowledge You as King of kings and Lord of lords.
All that has been created has been made for You and through You.
Exercise over me all Your rights.
“I renew my baptismal promises,
renouncing Satan and all his empty promises and evil designs.
I promise to live a good Christian life
and to do all in my power to procure
the triumph of the rights of God and Your Church.
“Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You my poor actionsAnonymous
in order to obtain that all hearts
may acknowledge Your Sacred Royalty,
and that thus the Reign of Your peace
may truly be established throughout the universe. Amen.”