Homily (Reflection) for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, (Thirty-Fourth Sunday of the Year) (B) (25th November, 2018) on the Gospel and the Solemnity
Dan 7:13-14;Ps 92:1-2.5 (R.V. 1);
Rev (Apoc) 1:5-8;
This Sunday is known by various names for various reasons: 34th Sunday of the year because it is the Sunday after the 33rd Sunday, last Sunday of the Year because it is the last Sunday of the Church’s Liturgical Year, the Solemnity of Christ the King because today, the Universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of Christ the King. Again, in this part of the world because the Solemnity of Corpus Christi falls in the rainy season, the Eucharistic procession that accompanies it is shifted to the Solemnity of Christ the King.
The Solemnity of Christ the King was established in 1925 by Pope Pius XI as an antidote to the secularism in the world. Just as today, people live their lives irrespective of what God wants. Hence, what we profess today is our belief in the kingship of Christ as a God the Word Incarnate, Redeemer and Judge of the living and the dead. His kingdom is supreme, universal, eternal and spiritual.
Topic: Christ’s Reign.
While foretelling the birth of Jesus Christ the angel Gabriel said to Mary:
And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end (Lk 1:31-33).
And while answering the Pharisees who asked Him when the kingdom of God was coming, Jesus said: “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” (Lk 17:20-21). Again, while refuting the accusation that He was casting out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons Jesus said: “if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Lk 11:20; cf. Matt 12:28).
As we celebrate the solemnity of Christ the Universal King it is important to note that His kingdom is not only in heaven. Hence in today’s gospel when Pilate asked Him whether he is the king of the Jews Jesus replied: “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here” (Jn 18:36). This is because all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him, cf. Matt 28:18. Hence “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Phil 2:10).
My dear friends in the Lord, as we celebrate this solemnity, Christ is asking us through the prophet: “A son honours his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honour? And if I am a master, where is my fear?” (Mal 1:6). Anyone who wishes to have a share in Christ’s kingdom in heaven must first respond positively to Christ’s invitation here on earth, cf. Lk 14:24. Hence Christ said:
You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Lk 22:28-30).
However, those who did not stand by Him in His trials will say “‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets’. But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’” (Lk 13:26-27).
Bible Reading: Lk 14:15-33. 17:20-37; Jn 10:24-38; Col 3:1-17; Matt 25:31-46; Lk 13:22-30.
Thought for today: Is Christ really your King?
Let us pray: Jesus, the everlasting King, as we celebrate with joy your kingship here on earth, may we be found less unworthy for your glory in heaven – Amen.
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