The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

the-crucifixion“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  He replied to him,”Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

OPENING PRAYER

Daily Renewal of Our Pledge of Love and Loyalty to Christ, Our King

Dear Sacred Heart of Jesus, we renew our pledge of love and loyalty to You. Keep us always close to Your loving Heart and to the most pure Heart of Your Mother. May we love one another more and more each day, forgiving each other’s faults as You forgive us our sins. Teach us to see You in the members of our family and those we meet outside our home, and to love them as you love them, especially the poor and the oppressed, that we may be instrumental in bringing about justice and peace.

Please help us to carry our cross daily out of love for You, and to strengthen this love by frequent Mass and Communion. Thank You, dear Jesus, King and Friend of our family, for all the blessings of this day. Protect us and all families during this night. Help us so to live that we may all get to heaven.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Our Guardian Angels, pray for us!

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

RENEWAL OF THE ENTHRONEMENT OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

COLLECT

Almighty ever-living God,

whose will is to restore all things

in your beloved Son, the King of the universe,

grant, we pray,

that the whole creation, set free from slavery,

may render your majesty service

and ceaselessly proclaim your praise.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity

of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

READING I

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2 Sm 5:1-3

In those days, all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:

“Here we are, your bone and your flesh.

In days past, when Saul was our king,

it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back.

And the LORD said to you,

‘You shall shepherd my people Israel

and shall be commander of Israel.'”

When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron,

King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD,

and they anointed him king of Israel.

APPLICATION

The institution of the feast of the Kingship of Christ was intended to be a rallying-call to all Christians to acknowledge the sovereignty of Christ, not only over all Christians and all men but over all of creation. He is king of all creation because, as the second reading today says, “through him, by him and in him all things subsist.” Therefore, he is the sovereign Master, Ruler, Protector and Judge of all created things. The title of King was chosen to express all these prerogatives, because he himself, in his moment of deepest humiliation, admitted to Pilate that he was King. He is given this title in most of the Old Testament prophecies concerning him.

The story of David’s anointing as king over all of Israel is recalled on this feast of the Kingship of Christ, because David was seen in the Old Testament as a type, a representation, of the future messianic king. The prophet Nathan promised David that a descendant of his would come “who would establish his throne forever” (2 Sm. 7: 16). Isaiah says of the future Messiah, “he will sit on David’s kingly throne, to give it lasting foundations of justice and right” (Is. 9: 6-7). In the prophet Jeremiah we read: “Nay, a time is coming, the Lord says, when I will raise up, from the stock of David, a faithful scion at last. The land shall have a king to reign over it, and reign over it wisely, giving just sentence and due reward” (Jer. 23: 5). To crown and confirm the Davidic typology, the Angel Gabriel tells the Virgin Mary that the child she is to conceive “shall be known as the Son of the Most High; the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor, David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob eternally and his kingdom will have no end” Lk. 1: 32-33).

David, although the greatest of the kings of Israel, was but a poor shadow of Christ the King, whose reign extends, not only over all Israel, but over all the universe and all things created in heaven as well as on earth. David’s reign lasted a mere forty years. Christ’s reign is eternal. David was a mere man, a creature, sinful but repentant. Christ was the God man, sinless and all-perfect, who died on the cross to free all men from their sins. When David died his kingdom was very soon divided and decayed. Christ’s death was the beginning of his everlasting reign. His cross was the solid foundation of his kingdom on earth, his Church. It was the preparatory stage of his eternal kingdom in heaven.

As far back as the history of man on earth goes, we learn that wherever men lived in groups in society they had a chief, a ruler or king whose laws they obeyed. This is still the case. Living in society would be impossible without some supreme authority with the power to make laws and see that they are carried out. Whether they be kings, presidents or chiefs, our earthly rulers can and should make our lives less difficult and more bearable. For this reason we are bound to respect and obey their laws. But their power is limited, their help is restricted. Even if they could give us all the comforts and privileges that this earth can supply they would be only for a few short years. They cannot reach beyond our graves. They cannot in any way fulfill or satisfy man’s higher ambitions.

The Sovereign and King whom we commemorate and honor today has the key to death and to unending life. During our lifetime on earth he takes an active interest in our welfare. However, his principal concern is for our real, lasting welfare. He came on earth to bring us to heaven. His power over us and for us does not end, but really begins when we die. When we close our eyes in death we will see him as he is, and realize what he has been to us and what he has done for us. He came so that we should have life and have it abundantly, “whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.”

Let us say a heartfelt “thank you” to our Lord and King, our beloved Savior, today. Let us promise him loyal and faithful service during the years that are left to us here below. When he calls us before his judgment seat we can feel assured that he will welcome us with a “well done good and faithful servant.”

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

 

Ps 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5

Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

I rejoiced because they said to me,

“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”

And now we have set foot

within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Jerusalem, built as a city

with compact unity.

To it the tribes go up,

the tribes of the LORD.

Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

According to the decree for Israel,

to give thanks to the name of the LORD.

In it are set up judgment seats,

seats for the house of David.

Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

READING II

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Col 1:12-20

Brothers and sisters:

Let us give thanks to the Father,

who has made you fit to share

in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.

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.

He 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.

He is the head of the body, the church.

He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,

that in all things he himself might be preeminent.

For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,

and through him to reconcile all things for him,

making peace by the blood of his cross

through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (CCC)

CCC 142 By his Revelation, “the invisible God, from the fullness of his love, addresses men as his friends, and moves among them, in order to invite and receive them into his own company.”1 The adequate response to this invitation is faith.

CCC 241 For this reason the apostles confess Jesus to be the Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”; as “the image of the invisible God”; as the “radiance of the glory of God and the very stamp of his nature”.2

CCC 291 “In the beginning was the Word. .. and the Word was God. .. all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”3 The New Testament reveals that God created everything by the eternal Word, his beloved Son. In him “all things were created, in heaven and on earth. .. all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”4 The Church’s faith likewise confesses the creative action of the Holy Spirit, the “giver of life”, “the Creator Spirit” (Veni, Creator Spiritus), the “source of every good”.5

CCC 299 Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered: “You have arranged all things by measure and number and weight.”6 The universe, created in and by the eternal Word, the “image of the invisible God”, is destined for and addressed to man, himself created in the “image of God” and called to a personal relationship with God.7 Our human understanding, which shares in the light of the divine intellect, can understand what God tells us by means of his creation, though not without great effort and only in a spirit of humility and respect before the Creator and his work.8 Because creation comes forth from God’s goodness, it shares in that goodness – “And God saw that it was good. .. very good”9- for God willed creation as a gift addressed to man, an inheritance destined for and entrusted to him. On many occasions the Church has had to defend the goodness of creation, including that of the physical world.10

CCC 331 Christ is the center of the angelic world. They are his angels: “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him. .. ”11 They belong to him because they were created through and for him: “for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.”12 They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?”13

CCC 504 Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary’s womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.”14 From his conception, Christ’s humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God “gives him the Spirit without measure.”15 From “his fullness” as the head of redeemed humanity “we have all received, grace upon grace.”16

CCC 517 Christ’s whole life is a mystery of redemption. Redemption comes to us above all through the blood of his cross,17 but this mystery is at work throughout Christ’s entire life:

already in his Incarnation through which by becoming poor he enriches us with his poverty;18

in his hidden life which by his submission atones for our disobedience;19

in his word which purifies its hearers;20

in his healings and exorcisms by which “he took our infirmities and bore our diseases”;21

and in his Resurrection by which he justifies us.22

CCC 624 “By the grace of God” Jesus tasted death “for every one”.23 In his plan of salvation, God ordained that his Son should not only “die for our sins”24 but should also “taste death”, experience the condition of death, the separation of his soul from his body, between the time he expired on the cross and the time he was raised from the dead. The state of the dead Christ is the mystery of the tomb and the descent into hell. It is the mystery of Holy Saturday, when Christ, lying in the tomb,25 reveals God’s great sabbath rest26 after the fulfillment27 of man’s salvation, which brings peace to the whole universe.28

CCC 753 In Scripture, we find a host of interrelated images and figures through which Revelation speaks of the inexhaustible mystery of the Church. The images taken from the Old Testament are variations on a profound theme: the People of God. In the New Testament, all these images find a new center because Christ has become the head of this people, which henceforth is his Body.29 Around this center are grouped images taken “from the life of the shepherd or from cultivation of the land, from the art of building or from family life and marriage.”30

CCC 792 Christ “is the head of the body, the Church.”31 He is the principle of creation and redemption. Raised to the Father’s glory, “in everything he [is] preeminent,”31 especially in the Church, through whom he extends his reign over all things.

CCC 1042 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed:

The Church. .. will receive her perfection only in the glory of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ.33

CCC 1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called.34 The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.35

CCC 1701 “Christ,. .. in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, makes man fully manifest to himself and brings to light his exalted vocation.”36 It is in Christ, “the image of the invisible God,”37 that man has been created “in the image and likeness” of the Creator. It is in Christ, Redeemer and Savior, that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God.38

CCC 2305 Earthly peace is the image and fruit of the peace of Christ, the messianic “Prince of Peace.”39 By the blood of his Cross, “in his own person he killed the hostility,”40 he reconciled men with God and made his Church the sacrament of the unity of the human race and of its union with God. “He is our peace.”41 He has declared: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”42

CCC 2641 “[Address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.”43 Like the inspired writers of the New Testament, the first Christian communities read the Book of Psalms in a new way, singing in it the mystery of Christ. In the newness of the Spirit, they also composed hymns and canticles in the light of the unheard-of event that God accomplished in his Son: his Incarnation, his death which conquered death, his Resurrection, and Ascension to the right hand of the Father.44 Doxology, the praise of God, arises from this “marvelous work” of the whole economy of salvation.45

CCC 2839 With bold confidence, we began praying to our Father. In begging him that his name be hallowed, we were in fact asking him that we ourselves might be always made more holy. But though we are clothed with the baptismal garment, we do not cease to sin, to turn away from God. Now, in this new petition, we return to him like the prodigal son and, like the tax collector, recognize that we are sinners before him.46 Our petition begins with a “confession” of our wretchedness and his mercy. Our hope is firm because, in his Son, “we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”47 We find the efficacious and undoubted sign of his forgiveness in the sacraments of his Church.48

1 DV 2; cf. Col 1:15; I Tim 1:17; Ex 33:11; Jn 15:14-15; Bar 3:38 (Vulg.).

2 Jn 1:1; Col 1:15; Heb 1:3.

3 Jn 1:1-3.

4 Col 1:16-17.

5 Cf. Nicene Creed: DS 150; Hymn “Veni, Creator Spiritus”; Byzantine Troparion of Pentecost Vespers, “O heavenly King, Consoler”.

6 Wis 11:20.

7 Col 1:15, Gen 1:26.

8 Cf. Ps 19:2-5; Job 42:3.

9 Gen 1:4,10,12,18,21,31.

10 Cf. DS 286; 455-463; 800; 1333; 3002.

11 Mt 25:31.

12 Col 1:16.

13 Heb 1:14.

14 I Cor 15:45,47.

15 Jn 3:34.

16 Jn 1:16; cf. Col 1:18.

17 Cf. Eph 1:7; Col 1:13-14; 1 Pt 1:18-19.

18 Cf. 2 Cor 8:9.

19 Cf. Lk 2:51.

20 Cf. Jn 15:3.

21 Mt 8:17; cf. Is 53:4.

22 Cf. Rom 4:25.

23 Heb 2:9.

24 I Cor 15:3.

25 Cf. Jn 19:42.

26 Cf. Heb 4:7-9.

27 Cf. Jn 19:30.

28 Cf Col 1: 18-20.

29 Cf. Eph 1:22; Col 1:18; LG 9.

30 LG 6.

31 Col 1:18.

32 Col 1:18.

33 LG 48; Cf. Acts 3:21; Eph 1:10; Col 1:20; 2 Pet 3:10-13.

34 Cf. Council of Trent (1546): DS 1514; cf. Col 1:12-14.

35 Cf. CIC, can. 867; CCEO, cann. 681; 686, 1.

36 GS 22.

37 Col 1:15; cf. 2 Cor 4:4.

38 Cf. GS 22.

39 Isa 9:5.

40 Eph 2:16 J.B.; cf. Col 1:20-22.

41 Eph 2:14.

42 Mt 5:9.

43 Eph 5:19; Col 3:16.

44 Cf. Phil 2:6-11; Col 1:15-20; Eph 5:14; 1 Tim 3:16; 6:15-16; 2 Tim 2:11-13.

45 Cf. Eph 1:3-14; Rom 16:25-27; Eph 3:20-21; Jude 24-25.

46 Cf. Lk 15:11-32, 18:13.

47 Col 1:14; Eph 1:7.

48 Cf. Mt 26:28; Jn 20:23.

APPLICATION

St. Paul tells the Colossians how grateful they ought to be to God for having made them Christians and citizens of Christ’s kingdom. The Apostle then goes on to describe who and what their new sovereign is, true God and true man, the true image of the invisible God and at the same time the perfect exemplar of true humanity. This portion of St. Paul’s epistle was aptly chosen for this great feast of the Kingship of Christ. Also, it calls to our minds how blessed, how fortunate we are to be Christians, citizens of his kingdom on earth with a guarantee of perpetual citizenship in his heavenly kingdom. This will be so only if we do the little he asks of us while here on earth.

Ninety-nine per cent of the citizens of any country on earth, whether it be small or great, rich or poor, are proud of their native land. They respect its ruler and its flag. If called on to defend their homeland against an aggressor they are willing to lay down their lives in its defense. Yet, our native country is ours for only a very limited time. The most it can give us is a few years of temporal happiness mixed with much hardship and trial.

On the other hand, Christians and all who, through no fault of their own, are non-Christians but try to do what is right, already have been selected and are being prepared to become free citizens in a kingdom, a home-land, which will last forever. It is one which will satisfy every rational longing of our human hearts. We have a king whose resources are infinite, whose realm is boundless, and whose generosity is without limit. His interest in our eternal happiness and his love for us have been proved beyond all possibility of doubt. “He humbled himself,” as St. Paul tells us, “assuming the nature of a slave and in obedience accepted even death–death on a cross” (Phil. 2: 7-8). He became man and allowed himself to be put to death by crucifixion, so as to reconcile us with God and make us citizens of his heavenly kingdom.

Therefore, when we have a King who has prepared for us an everlasting kingdom of happiness and perfect contentment, could we hesitate to make the few little preliminary preparations expected of us? Could any Christian be so foolish? Yes, we are all weak at times. We are of the earth, earthy. Things earthly can get a hold on us, but our Christian faith tells us how to free ourselves from our weaknesses and from our worldliness.

It tells us to think often of whither we are going, to examine our consciences and our habits of life to see if we are on the right road. It tells us too, to think often, never to forget in fact, all that the good God-man, our Savior Jesus Christ, has done for us and daily is doing for us so that we may reach our eternal homeland. Today is for all Christians a national day. Today, let us raise our Christian flag—the crucifix–aloft, and salute it with fervor and a promise of fervent loyalty. My King has suffered for me. For his sake, I am ready to suffer any trial that comes my way. If needs be, I am prepared to die for him. If he does not ask that supreme sacrifice, I am assuredly ready to live a life of faith, hope and sincere love for him, and of gratitude to him. Honor, glory and thanks forever to Christ our King!

GOSPEL

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Lk 23:35-43

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,

“He saved others, let him save himself

if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”

Even the soldiers jeered at him.

As they approached to offer him wine they called out,

“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”

Above him there was an inscription that read,

“This is the King of the Jews.”

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,

“Are you not the Christ?

Save yourself and us.”

The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,

“Have you no fear of God,

for you are subject to the same condemnation?

And indeed, we have been condemned justly,

for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,

but this man has done nothing criminal.”

Then he said,

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

He replied to him,

“Amen, I say to you,

today you will be with me in Paradise.”

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/112016.cfm

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (CCC)

CCC 440 Jesus accepted Peter’s profession of faith, which acknowledged him to be the Messiah, by announcing the imminent Passion of the Son of Man.1 He unveiled the authentic content of his messianic kingship both in the transcendent identity of the Son of Man “who came down from heaven”, and in his redemptive mission as the suffering Servant: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”2 Hence the true meaning of his kingship is revealed only when he is raised high on the cross.3 Only after his Resurrection will Peter be able to proclaim Jesus’ messianic kingship to the People of God: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”4

CCC 1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ.5 The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul–a destiny which can be different for some and for others.6

CCC 2266 The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people’s rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people’s safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.7

CCC 2605 When the hour had come for him to fulfill the Father’s plan of love, Jesus allows a glimpse of the boundless depth of his filial prayer, not only before he freely delivered himself up (“Abba. .. not my will, but yours.”),8 but even in his last words on the Cross, where prayer and the gift of self are but one: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”;9 “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise”, “Woman, behold your son” – “Behold your mother”;10 “I thirst.”;11 “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”;12 “It is finished”;13 “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”14 until the “loud cry” as he expires, giving up his spirit.15

CCC 2616 Prayer to Jesus is answered by him already during his ministry, through signs that anticipate the power of his death and Resurrection: Jesus hears the prayer of faith, expressed in words (the leper, Jairus, the Canaanite woman, the good thief)16 or in silence (the bearers of the paralytic, the woman with a hemorrhage who touches his clothes, the tears and ointment of the sinful woman).17 The urgent request of the blind men, “Have mercy on us, Son of David” or “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” has-been renewed in the traditional prayer to Jesus known as the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”18 Healing infirmities or forgiving sins, Jesus always responds to a prayer offered in faith: “Your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

St. Augustine wonderfully summarizes the three dimensions of Jesus’ prayer: “He prays for us as our priest, prays in us as our Head, and is prayed to by us as our God. Therefore let us acknowledge our voice in him and his in us.”19

1 Cf. Mt 16:16-23.

2 Jn 3:13; Mt 20:28; cf. Jn 6:62; Dan 7:13; Is 53:10-12.

3 Cf. Jn 19:19-22; Lk 23:39-43.

4 Acts 2:36.

5 Cf. 2 Tim 1:9-10.

6 Cf. Lk 16:22; 23:43; Mt 16:26; 2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23; Heb 9:27; 12:23.

7 Cf. Lk 23:40-43.

8 Lk 22:42.

9 Lk 23:34.

10 Jn 19:26-27.

11 Jn 19:28.

12 Mk 15:34; cf. Ps 22:2.

13 Jn 19:30.

14 Lk 23:46.

15 Cf. Mk 15:37; Jn 19:30b.

16 Cf. Mk 1:40-41; 5:36; 7:29; Cf. Lk 23:39-43.

17 Cf. Mk 25; 5:28; Lk 7:37-38.

18 Mt 9:27, Mk 10:48.

19 St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 85, 1: PL 37, 1081; cf. GILH 7.

APPLICATION

Down through our history thousands and millions of subjects have died for their kings. This was their duty when the needs or the defence of their realms demanded such a sacrifice. They neither expected nor received much praise for it. But we Christians are serving a King who died for us. The ruler and head of our kingdom is Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, who accepted crucifixion as the climax of the perfect obedience to his Father. He became man in accordance with God’s eternal plan. He, as man, was the representative of all humanity. He gave perfect obedience to God and thus made atonement for all the disobedience, of the human race. All the acts of penance and atonement of the whole of humanity put together, could not reconcile us sinners with God. Christ, being God as well as man, was able to make and did bring about, this reconciliation. He has, as St. Paul says, “reconciled everything . . . making peace through the blood of his cross.”

Today we are honoring this King, a King who humbled himself in order to raise us up to the status of sons of God, a king who suffered the cruelest of deaths so that we could have an unending life of happiness when we leave this earth.

Do we really honor our king as we should? Do we really meditate often enough on all he has done for us? Do we really appreciate the supernatural privilege conferred on us by the Incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ? We are no longer mere mortals, we are sons of God. We are no longer enemies of our Creator and Lord, we have been reconciled to God and can call him “Our Father.” We have still to die our earthly death but it is now the door to heaven. Unfortunately, we still can sin but we have the means of atonement within our reach, in the sacraments which Christ left to us. Any Christian who fails to get possession of the eternal heritage which Christ has made available to him will fail because he willingly and knowingly wished to do so.

Please God there will be few such people because Christ our King is always with us, helping us on our journey to heaven. What we say of Christians is true also of all who are non-Christians, through no fault of their own. Many of us will get some pleasant surprises when we meet the elect of God on our arrival in heaven. To get there is our present principal preoccupation. But it is not so hard. Keeping the laws of one’s country and carrying out their legal obligations is not difficult for the vast majority of sane people. Keeping the laws of God’s Kingdom and being loyal to him is not difficult either. Serving God is a privilege not a duty for the Christian who realizes what God has done for him and who appreciates what a future reward God has in store for him.

Today let us renew our loyalty to Christ our King. We are privileged and proud to be his subjects. As members of his Church on earth we are as yet in the preparatory stage of that kingdom. If we do the little that he asks of us, during this period of preparation, we are assured of being full citizens in his eternal kingdom of happiness and peace.

Applications written by Fr. Kevin O’Sullivan O.F.M. and used with permission from Franciscan Press

BENEDICTUS

Christ the King

What is really remarkable is that God consented to Israel’s desire for a king and even provided an opportunity for that kingship to be renewed and fulfilled. Jesus was himself the son of David, the king. God entered mankind in him and espoused the cause of mankind in him. If we look more closely at this question, we can see that it is the fundamental form of God’s activity with mankind. He has no rigid plan that he has at all costs to carry out. On the contrary, he has many different ways of seeking man out and finding him. He even makes man’s devious and wrong ways into ways leading to him. This is clear, for example, in the case of Adam, whose very sin was made a happy sin in the second Adam, Christ, and it is clear in all the twisted ways of human history. This, then, is God’s kingship – a rule of love that seeks and finds man in ways that are always new. For us, this means a trust that cannot be shaken. God rules as king over us still and, what is more, he rules over each one of us. None of us should be afraid and none should capitulate. God can always be found. The pattern of our own lives should also be like this – we should always be available, never write anyone off, and try again and again to find others in the openness of our hearts. Our most important task is not to assert ourselves, but always to be ready to set off on the way to God and to each other. The feast of Christ the King is therefore not a feast of those who are subjugated, but a feast of those who know that they are in the hands of the one who writes straight on crooked lines.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

CLOSING PRAYER

Prayer to Christ the King

O Christ Jesus,

I acknowledge You as King of the universe.

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 work and pomps.

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 actions

In order to obtain that all hearts

May acknowledge Your Sacred Royalty,

And that thus the reign of Your peace

May be established throughout the universe.

Amen.

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About Benedicamus Domino

Let Us Bless The Lord - A Benedictine oblate's weekly study of the Catholic Church's Sunday Sacred Liturgy. I hope that families and friends will benefit from this as a prayerful way to prepare and actively participate in the holy sacrifice of the Mass.
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