Sunday, 25 November 2018 : Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday we celebrate the last Sunday in our current liturgical year, and more importantly the great Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King, King and Master of all the Universe, Lord of all creation. Today we celebrate the divine and true kingship of Christ, which corresponds to the authority which Our Lord has over all things, and above all worldly and earthly authorities.

In the first reading today, taken from the Book of the prophet Daniel, we heard about the vision which Daniel received of the heavenly glory of God, in which He saw the revelation of the Holy Trinity, the One of Great Age Who is the Father, giving all power and authority over all things, over all of the world, all dominion and glory to the Son of Man, the Son, Jesus Christ, Who has been sent into the world to bring all things to Himself, Lord and King of all.

Through that vision, the fact of the kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ is eternal and unrivalled, and that He is the One True King of all, from whom ultimately, all authority, power, and honour came from. God Who is the Creator of all things, naturally has the jurisdiction and authority over all creation. And thus, He is both our Creator and our King, the very centre and focus of our whole lives.

This is what the Lord Himself reiterated in the Gospel passage we heard today, of the account of the encounter between the Lord Jesus and Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea, just before the Lord was to be sentenced to die on the cross. When asked if He was the King of the Jews, not only that the Lord reaffirmed that He is the King, and not just any king, for His kingship transcends any earthly kingdoms and dominions.

And therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today, as we rejoice together as one universal Church, for our glorious and ever mighty King, let us all spend some time to reflect on our own lives and actions thus far. A king is not a king without a country and without its people, and in a kingdom, the people obey the laws and the regulations and rules as decided by the king and his advisors.

Therefore, if we are indeed God’s people, and if we acknowledge Him as our Lord and King, then naturally and rightfully, we must follow and obey God’s Law, as the Lord has commanded it and revealed it, through His Son, Jesus Christ, Our King Himself, and passed on to His Church through His Apostles and their successors, which constitute the Church of God, preserving the truth and the commandments of God down through the ages till this day.

Yet, unfortunately, in how we act and behave, many of us Christians have not been exemplary and good in how we lived our lives. We have not obeyed the Lord’s commandments and laws, and instead, lived our lives in accordance to how we liked to live them, especially following the ways of the world, the ways of pride, greed and human desires. We have chosen to side with the world and with the forces of the evil one, rather than with God, our true King.

Pope Pius XI through his Encyclical Quas Primas published in the year of Our Lord 1925 established this Feast and Solemnity of Jesus Christ Our Lord, the King of the Universe, just several years after the end of the Great War, later to be known as the First World War, at the time when the world was going through great upheavals and changes, where the authority of Christ as the true Lord and King of all mankind was being challenged, by all those who championed atheism such as the Communist states, and also from those who wished to secularise the society, by distancing God and the Church from the people’s daily living.

If we really consider God as our Lord and King, then naturally we should strive to do what the Lord has commanded us to do, and do our best to follow His ways. Unfortunately, this is not something that can easily be done, as temptations and challenges are plenty, and there are always pressures and forces that are trying to pull us away and to distract us from our focus on God.

This is why, it is important that we now make the conscious effort to focus our attention on God, and to resist those temptations, of power, of wealth, of pleasures of the world and other forms of worldly attachments and glories, which can become serious obstacles in the way of our faith and obedience to God. Satan knows very well what he needs to do in order to keep us away from attaining salvation in God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are called to reflect seriously on our lives and our actions, as we approach the end of the current liturgical cycle. Are we going to continue on living our lives in whatever way we see fit, succumbing to the temptations of the world, and therefore, treating not God but Satan as our king? Or are we willing to make the effort to turn once again towards God with a renewed faith and commitment to live our lives from now on, in accordance with God’s will?

If we truly consider God as King, then we must indeed allow Him to exercise His kingship over our lives, and over our every actions, that in all the things we do, we bring greater glory to God, and remain centred on Him in all that we think, say and do. We must keep Him at the centre of our existence, and carefully discern our way of life in accordance with what He has revealed to us and taught us, through His Church.

Therefore, today, let us all pray for one another, that each and every one of us may become ever closer and be ever more committed to God, and that God may be truly our King, not as a mere formality or in superficial terms only, but in our every actions and deeds, in every moment we live, and in our whole beings, that through us, not only that others may know that God is our King, but our lives also reflect the truth about Who our King is. After all, how can we call God our King if we do not act in the way as taught and shown by Him?

The Lord our God, our King, although He is a King, but He is also humble of heart, and is filled with love. Therefore, we should also fill ourselves with great humility and lots of love, in loving one another, and in ensuring that not our will be done, but God’s will instead. Let us all follow in the examples of Christ, Our Lord and King, in humble obedience to Him and in loving relationship with Him.

May the Lord Jesus Christ, Our Lord and King, be the King of our hearts, our minds, our bodies and over all of our beings, and may He continue to reign in our midst, His beloved people, that we may be ever faithful to Him, and grow ever closer in our faith and dedication to Him. May the Lord continue to be our guide and our strength, from now on, till forevermore. Amen.

Sunday, 25 November 2018 : Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 18 : 33b-37

Pilate summoned Jesus and asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Does this word come from you, or did you hear it from others?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed You over to me. What have You done?”

Jesus answered, “My kingship does not come from this world. If I were a King, like those of this world, My guards would have fought to save Me from being handed over to the Jews. But My Kingship is not of this world.” Pilate asked Him, “So You are a King?” And Jesus answered, “Just as you say, I am a King. For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth hears My voice.”

Sunday, 25 November 2018 : Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Revelations 1 : 5-8

And from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him Who loves us and has washed away our sins with His own Blood, making us a kingdom and priests for God His Father, to Him be the glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

See He comes with the clouds and everyone will see Him, even those who pierced Him; on His account all the nations of the earth will beat his breast. Yes. It will be so. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, He Who is, Who was and Who is to come : the Master of the universe.

Sunday, 25 November 2018 : Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 92 : 1ab, 1c-2, 5

YHVH reigns, robed in majesty; YHVH is girded with strength.

The world now, is firm; it cannot be moved. Your throne stands from long ago, o YHVH; from all eternity You are.

Your decrees can be trusted; holiness dwells in Your House, day after day, without end, o YHVH.

Sunday, 25 November 2018 : Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Daniel 7 : 13-14

I continued watching the nocturnal vision : One like a Son of Man came on the clouds of heaven. He faced the One of Great Age and was brought into His presence. Dominion, honour and kingship were given Him, and all the peoples and nations of every language served Him. His dominion is eternal and shall never pass away; His kingdom will never be destroyed.

Sunday, 26 November 2017 : Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday we celebrate the last Sunday in our current liturgical year, and therefore, we celebrate with joy the great Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. We remember today, Our Lord Who is Our God and Saviour, and also Our King, Who will come at the end of time, at the time of His own choosing, to judge all of the people, from past, our current present time and the future to come.

In the Scripture readings today, we heard how Our Lord is King, Who is to be glorified and adored, obeyed and listened to, but He is also our Shepherd, Who is responsible for us, Who cares for us and loves each and every one of us without exception, from the smallest and least among us to the greatest. He is our Good Shepherd, the One Who leads all the faithful people towards Himself, that all may find rest in Him. He shows us all the face of true kingship, one that leads by example.

He is the One True King, from Whom all authority came from, and from Whom all power rests. All our earthly rulers, leaders, kings, presidents and all those who wield power are merely entrusted with the authority, and entrusted with the care over the people, over whom they ruled. Yet, as we have seen throughout the history of mankind, many leaders and rulers have abused the power and authority granted to them, and became intoxicated with them, losing sight of what they ought to be doing as kings and rulers.

Many worldly kings and rulers ended up becoming corrupted by power, and also tempted by wealth, fame, glory and many other forms of worldly possessions. That was how tyrants and dictators were born and created. Indeed, the saying was true, that ‘power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. It was because of our inability to resist the temptations of worldly things, that led us to corrupt the purpose of power and authority which have been entrusted to us by our True King, Jesus Christ.

Had they taken the examples from the True King, they would not have fallen into such a state. Jesus is the King Who leads by example, Who loves and cares for His people, and is committed to bring improvement and happiness to those Who have been placed under His care, that is by God His Father, Who in the Scriptures have given all power and dominion to Him, that He may rule over all creatures and beings, indeed, over the entire universe.

And while many kings and rulers of this world seek to be served and to be pleased by those who are around him, and become angry and displeased when their will is not fulfilled, or when they did not get what they wanted in terms of service by their servants, the Lord Jesus took off His outer garment, wore a garment in the manner of servants at the time of the Last Supper, and one by one, washing His disciples’ feet without hesitation, as a sign of true Kingship, the Kingship of service and love.

He showed the face of true Christian kingship, where the king does not come to be served but to serve, which in essence is also true leadership. A true leader must show by example and action, and not to be idle, not to be complacent, and not to be haughty or proud. And Jesus showed it all again during the time of His Passion, when He was arrested by the chief priests and the elders, when He did not resist, and even said to His disciples, that if He wanted to, He could have asked God His Father for man legions of Angels to deliver Him, and He did not do so.

He was also tempted by the devil in the desert as He fasted for forty days to prepare for His ministry, and yet He remained true to His mission. He was tempted by hunger, as the devil asked Him to turn the stones into bread to satisfy His hunger, and then, He was tempted with pride and ego, when the devil brought Him up to the top of the Temple and asked Him to jump, that all might see Him and believe in Him.

And lastly, He was tempted with worldly power and riches, which Satan would give Him if only He was to worship him as god and master. Jesus rebuked Satan for all these, and reminded him that God alone is worthy of glory, honour, praise and worship. In all of these examples, we can see how Our Lord Jesus Christ has shown us the qualities of a True King, the One and only One King which we should follow.

But this does not mean that we as Christians must disobey civil and worldly authorities, rulers, kings and all. In fact, as I have mentioned earlier, these leaders have been entrusted with power and authority by the Lord, that they should execute them with justice and righteousness, following after the example of the True King, Jesus Christ Our Lord. Thus, we should be obedient citizens and lawful people, who obeyed the laws of this world, but at the same time, even more so, obey God’s will and commandments.

That is why for each and every one of us as Christians, all of us must pray for our leaders and rulers, that they may follow the example of Christ in all things, and put the people that they have been entrusted with, first in their minds and attention, and not their own selfish desires and wishes. We pray that power and authority will not corrupt them as they had for the many previous rulers and kings, and that they will become responsible stewards of God’s justice and love.

That said, all of these problems I have mentioned, which corrupted our leaders and rulers, also affect all of us as well. Many of us are often affected by greed and desire, and we seek to have more power, more wealth, more renown, more fame, more recognition and worldly glory, and thus, we spent a lot of time trying to gather for ourselves more and more of those things, and often, we cause hurt and suffering to others while we try to satisfy our own selfishness.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, why is this so? That is because we mankind have not truly made Christ the King of our hearts, minds, our bodies and our whole being. We have not allowed Him the honour, glory and praise that He deserves. Instead, the devil is the king of our hearts and minds. We let him to enter our beings, allowing him to tempt us and to turn us away from the path of the Lord.

Therefore, today, as we rejoice and celebrate together in this great Solemnity of Christ the King, let us renew our commitment to Our Lord, King and Master of all of our lives, and reject the devil and all of his temptations. Let us all devote ourselves, our time and attention, to truly show that we are the servants of Our Lord and King. Let us make Christ the King of our lives and our hearts. Let us enthrone Him in the deepest, most intimate and honourable part of our beings.

May the Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and Sovereign King, always be the King of our entire lives, so that as His servants, we will always follow His examples in our lives, and be thoroughly devoted to Him, loving Him and serving one another, just as He has shown us. Let us all become true disciples of Our Lord and King, and be ever faithful in our hearts. Amen.

Sunday, 26 November 2017 : Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (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.”