Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Catholic 702 : Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe-B - Sunday, 25 November 2018

Homily Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe-B - Sunday, 25 November 2018



THE LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading: Daniel 7:13-14

Psalm: Ps 92:1-2. 5. “The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
Second Reading: Revelation 1:5-8

Gospel Acclamation: Mark 11:9. 10

Gospel: John 18:33-37

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Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe-B - Sunday, 25 November 2018 by clicking this link here:  https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/christ-king-b-25th-nov-2018-episode-126  (EPISODE: 126)
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It is fitting that the end of the church year declares Jesus to be the King of Heaven and of Earth. The Lord Jesus is King of the universe. We long and we pray for the day when it will be fully revealed that Jesus is the King of our world, our lives, our priorities, our plans, and our hopes and dreams. we so desire that the Lord Jesus will swiftly establish his Kingdom values fully into our hearts and lives now. We long to be transformed by the peace, justice, love, and forgiveness that marks Christ's gospel.

We, humans, are a proud people. We believe we are strong and self-sufficient. Many of us are tempted to proclaim: “we bow to no one, we kneel to nobody.” Yet, we happily (and rightly) bow to Jesus and we immediately kneel to Our Lord, for he alone is deserving of all our worship, all our obedience, and all our energy.
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It is perfectly fitting that the last Sunday of the church's liturgical year, (this Sunday!), we celebrate the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe.

This is a celebration which looks forward to the fact that ultimately, at the end of time, Our Lord Jesus will definitively take his place as the Ruler of all Creation. All things will be placed under his authority and power forever.

In one sense this has already begun. The Reign of God is already here. God’s Kingdom is already amongst us. The Kingdom is already at work IN us. However, at the end of time, the Reign of God will be established in all its fullness, with any opposing powers comprehensively defeated and vanquished.

We still live in unsettled times, and there are still values which oppose Christ’s Gospel. But it is so completely reassuring to have this message that The forces of violence, hatred, deception, and injustice will ultimately be defeated.

Today in the Gospel, Jesus stands on trial before Pontius Pilate. Pilate is questioning his apparent prisoner. Pilate's questions are arrogant and confident. He thinks he is in control. But we Christians have long been challenged to see beyond appearances. We are invited to see the truth behind the surface. Jesus is actually in control at all times, even though he is a prisoner and on trial for his life. Christ is really the free person of the two. Christ is freer than Pilate, who actually is rather keen to release Jesus but is scared of what other people might think or say. Pilate is actually a prisoner. Pilate compromises the truth for political expediency.

Jesus is not the only one on trial in the gospel. In a sense, we too are on trial. And so is Jesus' Gospel way of life,. and, as a consequence, Our values and principles are on trial too.

We have all heard the saying. "nice people finish last," or even the seemingly harmless words: "you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette; (which is a nice way of saying that “in order to succeed in this world, it is okay to hurt, betray or back-stab the person next to you…"/. Other rather common words one hears is: “All's fair in love and war,” and "This is not personal; it is just a financial decision!" These are really just euphemisms.

As Christians. we are called to buy into Christ’s view of life that does not always come naturally to human understanding.

Jesus is the King of truth. : So, Living Authentically. Living according to truth and integrity is all that really matters. If we succeed at something by deception or hypocrisy or disregard for the dignity and welfare of our brothers and sisters around us, we are really losing.

But let us be honest. This way of thinking will sometimes get us laughed at. People have sometimes looked at us and said: “how foolish you are. Your integrity makes you a sitting duck. You are a dumb lamb, muddling around in an antagonistic world, and you are headed for the slaughter. But we are in Good Company. That is exactly what Jesus is getting in the gospel passage this weekend. Pilate is virtually calling him a fool for pursuing this non-violent, passive resistance approach. This persistent preaching of the Gospel. "Do you realise that you are going to get yourself killed? And what good will come of your values then?"

However, Jesus knew that if he compromised his principles merely to try to avoid death, then the really important things of life would have been lost anyway. Jesus’ principles and their practical application is the true message

Christ stands firmly for the fact that the ends do not justify the means, and in fact how we get to the goal is part of the journey.

Jesus tells us that the truth is all that matters. however Pilate has an answer for this…."and what is Truth???????". He --- like so many --- has turned truth into a commodity to be bought and sold at will. Yet, we know that truth is not a statement; Truth is a person, Truth is a way of living: Jesus (and his life and everything he stood for) IS THE TRUTH.

Can we dare to follow this radical King? The one whose way of thinking is not of this world but is certainly intended to transform and change this world and the people in it.

We are risking everything. We risk “appearing to lose” in order to win the only thing that really matters”: the establishment of the Reign of God in its fullness, with Justice, peace, mercy and above all Love !
On this feast of Christ the King. We notice that Jesus also shows us what true kingship and true power really looks like in practice. And it is shocking because true power and true Kingship looks nothing like what the world understands these words to mean. True Kingship is about service. True power is actually “power FOR” others and not actually “power OVER” others. Instead of dominating and subduing others, this true service of leadership helps us to become truly the people God wants us to be. Christ has a vision for the people he created us to be.

In order to be transformed into the people Christ wants us to be, we must accept the Kingship of Jesus Christ and allow Him to transform us and challenge us. He not only frees us from our sins, but he transforms us into a holy people and changes us into a people who are happy to do God’s will and rejoice in knowing the ways and values of the Lord.

And Jesus’ Kingdom is built on the TRUTH; on what is real and honest. All people who desire to follow Jesus as King are saying “YES” to his truth and honesty in their lives and values.

There is a nice quote that I find very insightful. The writer Paul Tillich says. “Distrust every claim for truth where you do not see truth united with love; and be certain that you are of the truth and that the truth has taken hold of you only when love has taken hold of you and has started to make you free from yourselves. (Paul Tillich).
 
It is similar to a motto I have told myself often. Telling the truth without love will render the point useless. No one wants to listen to someone, even when they are pointing out something that might quite true, if the other person senses that this truth is being told to them without love or compassion, or given in a genuinely constructive and gentle way. If the truth is not given in order to build up a person and assist them to be more whole, then it will be rejected. In any case, truth is a way of being and living, more than words handed to someone to swallow like some kind of pill. People deflect even the “truth” when they fear it is being thrown at them like a weapon. And yes… even the truth can be used as a weapon when placed in unloving hands.
 
I love the preface to the Eucharistic prayer for this feast day today. because it names some of the qualities to be found in Christ’s Kingdom:

Christ’s Kingdom, which has already begun to take hold in our hearts and in our world is …..
“A kingdom of truth and life,
a kingdom of holiness and grace,
a kingdom of justice, love, and peace.”

This week, my mind has kept coming back to the concept of Jesus being the Universal King. and so, We are not only his disciples and followers, but we are also his subjects.

What does it mean to be a loyal subject of a “King.” It puts our lives into a new perspective.

If Jesus is our King and we are his subjects, then our Christian faith and discipleship can never just be a little side-interest or “hobby” or a part-time diversion in our otherwise segmented lives. Christianity, (which is really another word for committed service of our King and his Kingdom), means being “servants” or even (dare I say it), “slaves for Christ.” I really quite like the idea of being a ‘slave’ for Christ, because it really does not mean in this context a loss of freedom but the attainment of true freedom in our nature as subjects to Christ, who is love.

We know all too well, that we give our time and our worship to Jesus not for what we can get out of it, and not merely about giving whatever little spare time we can give, but wholeheartedly.

God’s ways, values and priorities, are about giving without expecting a return and giving without counting the cost.

Come Lord Jesus ! Come, Lord, in all your fullness. Take your rightful place as King of Heaven and Earth! Lead us in the ways of truth. Come, Lord Jesus, as King of our hearts and lives.
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References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly


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May God bless and keep you.


Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe-B
(
Sunday, 25 November 2018(EPISODE: 126 )

The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (or/ The Lord be with You)
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Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you are the image of the unseen God: Lord, have mercy.//You are the firstborn of all creation: Christ, have mercy//You are the head of the body, the Church: Lord, have mercy//
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
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Memorial Acclamation

Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.

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Christ the King

Eucharistic Prayer I

Communion side. pwk:
RH
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Go in peace. (glorifying the Lord by your life)



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