Christ the King
22nd November 2020
Year A – Psalter week 2
This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King when our gaze focuses upon Jesus as the True and Universal King. The readings draw out not only the Last Judgement, but also the fact that Christ came as the Servant King, and expects his followers to imitate him.
Jesus is Priest, Prophet, and King, and through baptism we too share in his priestly, prophetic and kingly office. The office of king is concerned with governing. Firstly we are called, with God’s help, to conquer are our own selfish desires. In his Letter to the Galatians, St. Paul contrasts life lived in the flesh to that lived in the power of the Holy Spirit: “Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh… Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God… By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:16-17, 19-24).
This ties in with a theme found in our first reading and psalm, which is Jesus as Shepherd. In the reading from Ezekiel, the Lord promises that “I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest.” In the psalm we hear how, “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose.” The fruit of the Spirit is precisely the kind of pasture that Christ the King, and Good Shepherd, desires to lead us to.
The Kingship of Christ is also to be extended in our world. Indeed, the best indicator we have as to the degree in which we have allowed Christ to shepherd us and to reign in us, will be the degree and quality of our love for others and particularly for the poor, the vulnerable, and the marginalized. This is a message of today’s gospel.
The Father has entrusted the Son with everything, including the judgment of the living and the dead. Key to that judgment, Jesus tells us, will be how we have treated the Lord himself in the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, those without clothing, the sick, and those in prison. Sharing in Christ’s kingship means following the example he himself has set, and entails the provision of both material and spiritual needs.
In our reading from Ezekiel the Lord is a true shepherd because he not only watches over the fat and the healthy, but he also looks for the lost, brings back the stray, bandages the wounded and makes the weak strong. We are called to be ministers of Christ’s compassion, forgiveness, mercy and love with all whom we meet. While it may not always be accepted, it must always be offered.
The more we surrender to the Holy Spirit the freer we become from sin, and the further we are drawn into the Kingship of Jesus, drawn not only into his presence in the Church and in the Eucharist, but also into his presence in each other and in the poor, the vulnerable, and the marginalized.
We may now be living in a time of spiritual conflict, both in our world and within ourselves, but the time is coming when all evil, and all that is hostile to God’s kingdom, will be overcome and done away with, even death itself, and Christ’s Universal Kingship will be established in its fullness forever.
 Translation taken from the New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition, as found on biblegateway.com.
Download Father Andy’s reflection here
1 Corinthians 15:20-26,28
Sunday Message and Look
Download this weeks Sunday Message and Look (for our younger parishioners) by clicking on the images, for all the readings for this week, as well as the prayers during mass and the usual weekly thoughts and reflections.
Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming kingdom of our Father David! Alleluia!