Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, November 21
With Christ Jesus As Our Eternal King and Our Lord and Savior, Do We Truly Serve His Kingdom by the Way We Live Our Lives, by the Way We Profess Our Faith?
In today’s Responsorial Psalm, we read, “The LORD is king, in splendor robed; robed is the LORD and girt about with strength…Your throne stands firm from of old; from everlasting you are, O LORD.”
On this Thirty-fourth and last Sunday in Ordinary Time, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, 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 our Lord’s Kingdom is not of this world. It is not a Kingdom of land and property, or castles and wealth. As the Mass prayers for today tell us, His is “a Kingdom of truth and life, a Kingdom of holiness and grace, a Kingdom of justice, love, and peace.”
By virtue of our Baptism into the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and with the help of His grace given to His faithful children, His is the Kingdom of which you and I become co-heirs and fellow citizens with all the saints and holy ones – all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, who have left this life in God’s friendship and are now members of the Church Triumphant!
For those who have been following these daily meditations since they started over twelve years ago, we have reflected numerous times on God’s unfathomable Love and limitless Mercy which He has and offers to His children. We have reflected upon God’s Word with regards to faith, hope, and our dependence upon God and the intimate relationship we should be living with Him.
Both today and throughout the year, our Scriptures bring us to 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 children, 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.’”
This Solemnity, which you and I celebrate today, speaks to the present, but it also directs our attention to the future. And our Readings today call us to face the future with hope, even when the times in which we live may appear desperate!
As we view the world today from a Christian perspective 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 which prefers to separate itself from the will of God and the Natural Law, 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 some areas of the world.
We live in a world today in which fundamental Islamists commit ethnic and religious cleansing, all in the name of a “god” who is anything but the God of creation, for they follow the spirit of evil in all that they espouse and perpetrate against humanity.
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.
But human society has always been faced with desperate times. We find our first two Readings today looking to the future from a desperate present. They, too, came from times of distress during two different periods of persecution.
Our First Reading today, taken from the Book of the Prophet Daniel, was written when the Jewish people were being persecuted by the Seleucid Empire in the Second Century before the birth of Christ, wherein the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was desecrated and many Jews were put to death. The Book of Daniel was written to strengthen and comfort the Jewish people in their ordeal.
Our Second Reading, from the Book of Revelation, reflects the ruthless persecution of the early Church by the Roman Empire, and the Book itself was composed to give the early Christians solace and comfort in the midst of choosing to follow the way of the cross, even if it meant their own martyrdom.
Both the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation were written to give the faithful an enduring hope, even in the midst of desperation and despair.
No matter how dark the days may seem, both then and now, both our Readings are calling us to trust that God will be victorious. And in the midst of the darkness in which we find ourselves today, this victory may seem hard to visualize at times, especially for those who are directly victimized by the evil which exists in the world.
But this is where you and I are called to live out our life of faith. This is where you and I are to become faithful witnesses in what we profess to believe. We are each called to love God and to love each other; 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, in a time known only to our Eternal Father in Heaven, the “King of kings” will come in all His Glory and 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! The question which each person must ask him or herself is this, “Which kingdom do I serve by the way I live my life? Do I live by God’s Truth, or do I live my life by my own brand of truth?”
To accept Christ Jesus as our 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 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
- “The LORD is king, robed with majesty; the LORD is robed, girded with might…Your throne stands firm from of old; you are from everlasting.” (Psalm 93:1ab, 2)
- “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)
- “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.’” (John 18:37)
- “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)
- “He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. [Christ Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:13-17)
- “‘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.
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 the wondrous gift that all hearts
may acknowledge Your Sacred Royalty,
and that thus the Reign of Your peace
may be established throughout the universe. Amen.”