Sunday, 22 November 2020 : Last Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday we mark the very last Sunday in our current liturgical year cycle, and therefore we celebrate together the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King, the King of the Universe. Today we glorify our Lord and God, Who is the King of Kings and Lord of all. He alone is the Master of all creation and hence the entire Universe as its King.

At the end of this current liturgical year we are all reminded of the Kingship of our Lord and how each and every one of us are truly subject to His authority and power, for each and every one of us have been created by the Lord as His creatures. But many of us have not understood, appreciated or acknowledged Him as our King as well as the nature of His Kingship.

Yes, the Lord is King, but He is not like any kings of the world that we know of. He was not born into the world in riches and glory like the other kings and rulers of the world’s nations, in wealth and wonders, but in poverty and in the filthy stable of Bethlehem, not fit even for human habitation, and even less so for a king. He did not live in palaces and great houses, but in the wilderness as He Himself said that the Son of Man had no place to lay His head.

And before Pontius Pilate, during the moment of His Passion, when He was arrested and condemned to die by the Sanhedrin and brought before the Roman governor for final judgment, the Lord Jesus spoke of Himself as a King, and answering to Pilate’s questions of His kingship, He again said that He is truly a King, but His kingship is not of this world, referring to the fact that He is indeed unlike any other kings.

The Lord is the one and only true King, from Whom all authority, power and kingship came from. All the rulers and kings of this world gained their authority from the Lord, as the stewards entrusted with the care of God’s people, just in the same way that in spiritual matters, the Lord also entrusted the faithful to His Church, under the leadership of the Pope as the Vicar of Christ and the Successor of St. Peter the Apostle, and the bishops.

Yet, many of the rulers of this world abused their entrusted power and authority, and like the parables which the Lord had used to teach the people, particularly those regarding stewards who had been unfaithful and lazy in the dealings of their works, many of these kings and rulers of the world did not do as they had been called and entrusted to do by the Lord, but instead, sought to gain for themselves for wealth, power and glory.

This was why many ended up becoming corrupt and tyrannical in their actions, causing suffering and harm on many people to satisfy their own selfish and greedy desires. Many had gone to conflict and wars in order to satisfy these desires, their pride and ego, just as our past century’s many deadly wars can show us. The two World Wars that the world had bled from, all had stemmed from those leaders who abused the power and authority entrusted to them.

Against all these, the Lord showed us all true leadership and kingship, one not founded upon pride, ego, greed, desire, and ambition, but rather love, compassion, care, selflessness and righteousness. The Lord shows us all that He is a King Who is always loving and caring towards all of His people, likened to that of a shepherd who loves and cares for each and every one of his sheep.

Shepherds at that time, as it is still today, are those who spent a lot of time taking care of their herd of sheep and other animals, and they knew their sheep well. This is why the Scripture readings today touch on the Lord as the Good Shepherd, as the Shepherd of the faithful, as we are the flock led by our Lord, the one and true Shepherd of all. And as the Good Shepherd, He knows us all well in and out, by each of our names and He knows all about us.

The Lord is showing all of us what true Christian leadership is all about, that as Christians, especially those in the positions of leadership, they all have to look upon the Lord’s own examples, in how He wielded His power and authority with justice, with care and love, concern and compassion on all those who have been put under His power, while dealing justly with others who have misbehaved and did wrong.

And this brings us to our Gospel passage today in which we heard of the account of the Last Judgment as the Lord foretold it Himself. At the Last Judgment, when all of creation shall be judged by none other than the Lord Jesus Himself, as He returns into this world as a triumphant King, to finally claim all for Himself and to gather everything to Him, He shall be the Great Judge judging all of us mankind by our actions, deeds and by our faith.

The Lord said how the righteous will be separated from the wicked, and their deeds revealed before all. The righteous are those who have extended their love, care and affection for the needy, the poor and those who need for the attention and help from others, and the Lord shall bless and thank them for whatever they had done, saying that what they had done for those, they had done unto Himself.

In parallel, those who have been deemed as wicked and unjust had been judged because of their refusal to reach out and help, to show their love for those who need that love most, when they were perfectly in the position and were capable to do so. They were judged by their refusal to follow the example of the Lord in love, in care and in compassion towards one another. Instead, they have chosen to keep everything to themselves and in being selfish and greedy.

This is a warning and reminder that we should not forget that our Christian calling is to follow the Lord and His examples, and first and foremost, to obey the Lord’s commandments of love, that we are first and foremost to love the Lord, our God and King with all of our strength, and then to show the same love to one another, to our brethren, especially those who need that love, even more than we love ourselves. We should not allow our ego, desire and ambition to make us forget of our Christian calling and faith.

Today, as we all rejoice in our Lord, the King of Kings and King of the whole Universe and of all things, we are all called and indeed challenged, called to reflect on whether He is our King in all things, or whether our Christian faith is merely just a formality and the Lord is not truly the King of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. If the Lord is truly our King, then all of us as His people, His beloved sheep and flock should all follow Him and His examples just as the sheep follow their shepherd faithfully.

Many of us have wandered off into the wrong paths like the lost sheep, and yet the Lord had patiently waited for us to return, and even went out all the way to look for us, wanting each and every one of us to be reconciled to Him. And therefore, let us all as Christians in our every deeds and actions, in everything we say and do, always be exemplary and good, always be just and righteous following the examples of our Lord and King.

Let us all be inspiration of faith for one another, and help each other to remain firm in our faith, and to keep steady in our path in our journey of faith. Let us all not be distracted or be dissuaded by false promises of desire, power, glory and all other things that can lead us astray. Let us put the Lord Jesus Christ, Our God and King at the centre of our hearts and whole existence, that in everything we do, we will always glorify Him and praise Him at all times.

Let us also pray for all of our leaders, all those in the Church and in the secular leadership positions, that they may imitate the examples of the Lord in His humility and genuine care for all those under His care, that they too may be responsible, just and ultimately good rulers and stewards, protecting and caring for all those who have been put under their care and that they may resist against whatever temptations that try to lead them down the path of selfishness, greed and tyranny.

May the Lord, our loving and most wonderful King continue to bless each and every one of us, and help us in our respective journey, that we may grow ever stronger in our love and devotion to Him, just as He Himself has loved us all first with such great intensity and sincerity despite our sins and rebelliousness. May God bless us all and be with us, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Sunday, 22 November 2020 : Last Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 25 : 31-46

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory with all His Angels, He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be brought before Him; and, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so will He do with them, placing the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left.”

“The King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, blessed of My Father! Take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed Me into your home. I was naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you visited Me. I was in prison, and you came to see Me.’”

“Then the righteous will ask Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and give You food; thirsty, and give You something to drink; or a stranger, and welcome You; or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and go to see You?’ The King will answer, ‘Truly I say to you : just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it to Me.’”

“Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Go, cursed people, out of My sight, into the eternal fire, which has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry, and you did not give Me anything to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not welcome Me into your house; I was naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’”

“They, too, will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, thirsty, naked or a stranger, sick or in prison, and did not help You?’ The King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you : just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for Me.’ And these will go into eternal punishments; but the just, to eternal life.”

Sunday, 22 November 2020 : Last Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Corinthians 15 : 20-26, 28

But no, Christ has been raised from the dead, and He comes before all those who have fallen asleep. A human being brought death; a Human Being also brings resurrection of the dead. For, as in Adam all die, so, in Christ, all will be made alive. However, each one in his own time : first Christ, then Christ’s people, when He comes.

Then, the end will come, when Christ delivers the kingdom to God the Father, after having destroyed every rule, authority and power. For He must reign and put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed will be death. When the Father has subjected everything to Him, the Son will place Himself under the One Who subjected everything to Him. From then on, God will be all in all.

Sunday, 22 November 2020 : Last Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 22 : 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul. He guides me through the right paths for His Name’s sake.

You spread a table before me in the presence of my foes. You anoint my head with oil; my cup is overflowing.

Goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life, I shall dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.

Sunday, 22 November 2020 : Last Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ezekiel 34 : 11-12, 15-17

Indeed YHVH says this : I, Myself, will care for My sheep and watch over them. As the shepherd looks after his flock when he finds them scattered, so will I watch over My sheep; and gather them from all the places where they were scattered in a time of cloud and fog.

I, Myself, will tend My sheep and let them rest, word of YHVH. I will search for the lost and lead back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak; but the fat and strong will be eliminated. I will shepherd My flock with justice.

As for you, My flock – says YHVH – I will distinguish between one sheep and another, and set apart rams and goats.

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-Fifth and Last Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 22 November 2020 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green

Offertory

Psalm 129 : 1-2

De profundis clamavi ad Te, Domine : Domine, exaudi orationem meam : de profundis clamavi ad Te, Domine.

English translation

From the depths I have cried out to You, o Lord. Lord, hear my prayer, from the depths I have cried out to You, o Lord.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Propitius esto, Domine, supplicationibus nostris : et, populi Tui oblationibus precibusque susceptis, omnium nostrum ad Te corda converte; ut, a terrenis cupiditatibus liberati, ad caelestia desideria transeamus. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Be propitious, o Lord, to our supplications, and accept the offerings and prayers of Your people. Turn all our hearts unto You, that, being delivered from earthly desires, we may pass on to the enjoyments of heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Communion

Mark 11 : 24

Amen, dico vobis, quidquid orantes petitis, credite, quia accipietis, et fiet vobis.

English translation

Amen, I say to you, whatsoever you ask when you pray, believe that you shall receive, and it shall be done unto you.

Post-Communion Prayer

Concede nobis, quaesumus, Domine : ut per haec sacramenta quae sumpsimus, quidquid in nostra mente vitiosum est, ipsorum medicationis dono curetur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Grant us, we beseech You, o Lord, that, through this sacrament which we have received, whatever is evil in our hearts may be restored by its gift of healing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-Fifth and Last Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 22 November 2020 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 24 : 15-35

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis Suis : Cum videritis abominationem desolationis, quae dicta est a Daniele Propheta, stantem in loco sancto : qui legit, intellegat : tunc qui in Judaea sunt, fugiant ad montes : et qui in tecto, non descendat tollere aliquid de domo sua : et qui in agro, non revertatur tollere tunicam suam.

Vae autem praegnantibus et nutrientibus in illis diebus. Orate autem, ut non fiat fuga vestra in hieme vel sabbato. Erit enim tunc tribulatio magna, qualis non fuit ab initio mundi usque modo, neque fiet. Et nisi breviati fuissent dies illi, non fieret salva omnis caro : sed propter electos breviabuntur dies illi.

Tunc si quis vobis dixerit : Ecce, hic est Christus, aut illic : nolite credere. Surgent enim pseudochristi et pseudoprophetae, et dabunt signa magna et prodigia, ita ut in errorem inducantur (si fieri potest) etiam electi.

Ecce, praedixi vobis. Si ergo dixerint vobis : Ecce, in deserto est, nolite exire : ecce, in penetralibus, nolite credere. Sicut enim fulgur exit ab Oriente et paret usque in Occidentem : ita erit et adventus Filii Hominis. Ubicumque fuerit corpus, illic congregabuntur et aquilae.

Statim autem post tribulationem dierum illorum sol obscurabitur, et luna non dabit lumen suum, et stellae cadent de caelo, et virtutes caelorum commovebuntur : et tunc parebit signum Filii Hominis in caelo : et tunc plangent omnes tribus terrae : et videbunt Filium Hominis venientem in nubibus caeli cum virtute multa et majestate.

Et mittet Angelos suos cum tuba et voce magna : et congregabunt electos ejus a quatuor ventis, a summis caelorum usque ad terminos eorum. Ab arbore autem fici discite parabolam : Dum jam ramus ejus tener tuerit et folia nata, scitis, quia prope est aestas : ita et vos cum videritis haec omnia, scitote, quia prope est in januis.

Amen, dico vobis, quia non praeteribit generatio haec, donec omnia haec fiant. Caelum et terra transibunt, verba autem mea non praeteribunt.

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “When you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, he who reads, let him understand, then they who are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains, and he who is on the housetop, let him not come down to take anything out of his house, and he who is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat.”

“And woe to those who are with child, and those who give suckle, in those days. But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the sabbath, for there shall be then great tribulation, such as has not been found since the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be, and unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved, but for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened.”

“Then if any man shall say to you, ‘Lo, here is Christ, or there.’ do not believe him, for there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and they shall show great signs and wonders, in so much as to deceive (if possible) even the elect.”

“Behold, I have told it to you beforehand, if they therefore shall say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the desert, do not go out; behold, He is in the closets, do not believe it. For as lightning comes out of the east, and appears even into the west, so shall also be the coming of the Son of Man. Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together.”

“And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty.”

“And He shall send His Angels with a trumpet and a great voice and they shall gather together His elects from the four winds, from the farthest part of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them. And from the fig tree learn a parable, when the branch thereof is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see all these things, may you know that it is nigh even at the doors.”

“Amen, I say to you, that this generation shall not pass until all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.”

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-Fifth and Last Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 22 November 2020 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 43 : 8-9 and Psalm 129 : 1-2

Liberasti nos, Domine, ex affligentibus nos : et eos, qui nos oderunt, confudisti.

Response : In Deo laudabimur tota die, et in Nomine Tuo confitebimur in saecula.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : De profundis clamavi ad Te, Domine : Domine, exaudi orationem meam. Alleluja.

English translation

You have delivered us, o Lord, from those who afflicted us, and have put them to shame those who hated us.

Response : In God we will glory all the day, and in Your Name we will give praise forever.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : From the depths I have cried to You, o Lord. Lord, hear my prayer. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-Fifth and Last Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 22 November 2020 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Green

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Colossenses – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Colossians

Colossians 1 : 9-14

Fratres : Non cessamus pro vobis orantes et postulantes, ut impleamini agnitione voluntatis Dei, in omni sapientia et intellectu spiritali : ut ambuletis digne Deo per omnia placentes : in omni opere bono fructificantes, et crescentes in scientia Dei : in omni virtute confortati secundum potentiam claritatis ejus in omni patientia, et longanimitate cum gaudio, gratias agentes Deo Patri, qui dignos nos fecit in partem sortis sanctorum in lumine : qui eripuit nos de potestate tenebrarum, et transtulit in regnum Filii dilectionis suae, in quo habemus redemptionem per sanguinem Ejus, remissionem peccatorum.

English translation

Brethren, we cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of the will of God, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might according to the power of His glory, in all patience and long suffering with joy, giving thanks to God the Father, Who had made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light, Who had delivered us from the power of darkness and had translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have redemption through His Blood, the remission of sins.

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-Fifth and Last Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 22 November 2020 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Jeremiah 29 : 11, 12, 14 and Psalm 84 : 2

Dicit Dominus : Ego cogito cogitationes pacis, et non afflictionis : invocabitis me, et ego exaudiam vos : et reducam capitivitatem vestram de cunctis locis.

Benedixisti, Domine, terram Tuam : avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

The Lord said, “I think thoughts of peace, and not of affliction. You shall call upon Me and I will hear you, and I will bring back your captivity from all places.

Lord, You have blessed Your land, You have turned away the captivity of Jacob.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Collect

Excita, quaesumus, Domine, Tuorum fidelium voluntates : ut, divini operis fructum propensius exsequentes; pietatis Tuae remedia majora percipiant. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Stir up, we beseech You, o Lord, the wills of Your faithful, that, by more earnestly following after the fruit of the divine work, they may the more abundantly partake of Your mercies. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.