Sunday, 22 November 2015 : Thirty-Fourth (34th) Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Christ the King, Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday marks the last Sunday of the current liturgical year, where the cycle of the Church’s liturgical celebrations reached a culmination in the celebration of Christ our Lord and King, as the One Who is the true ruler and authority over all things throughout the universe. Today we mark the occasion of the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Lord and Master of all things that are in existence.

Through the Scripture passages today, we heard about the Lord Jesus Who is a King, and the One True King from Whom all authority, power and wisdom came from. Yet, His kingship is not akin to one that is of the world, that is, His kingdom is not like the kingdoms that exist in this world. On the other hand, His kingship and His kingdom transcends the worldly boundaries of power, authority and majesty.

Why is this so? That is because the kingdoms of this world, their rulers and masters are all very bound and affected by the worldly aspects of glory, of fame, of influence and affluence, of human praise and positions of fame, and they continue to strive ever more for the greatness in accordance of human measures, and that is why the kingdoms and the powers of this world are ever concerned about the self-aggrandisement and gathering of more power and glory for themselves.

Human and worldly powers are always fragile and temporary. These powers did not last beyond certain criteria and requirements that need to be met in order to preserve the powers in accordance with the ways of this world. This is why much misery, sufferings and injustice occurred in the world, both past and present, because of the tempting nature of having in possession such power and authority, and thus our reluctance and unwillingness to let them go from us.

Just for an example, the kings, princes, dukes and other worldly powers went to war with each other because each of them wanted to increase their dominion, influence and power. And because they have given themselves in to the ways of this world, therefore, accordingly, they wanted to preserve what they had, even at the expense of morality and justice.

This is why, if we look at the many rulers and governments that are maintained with iron fist, they are always in constant fear of losing their power to those who do not belong to the ruling elites. And they would use all things and armaments in their disposal in order to protect themselves and avoid their own fall from power and glory. This was exactly what Jesus said to Pilate, about if His kingdom were to be of this world, His supporters would have gone out all the way to save Him.

Instead, Jesus clearly stated that His kingdom and His kingship are different from all that, from all the traditional notions of power and glory that we mankind and this world are familiar with. This is because His kingdom is a kingdom of truth, of justice, of righteousness, and ultimately His kingdom is a kingdom of love. He leads as a King, not by fear and tyranny, nor by anger or hatred, but through genuine leadership shown through example and perfect love.

We have to realise that all of us are truly fortunate to have been placed under the grace and sovereignty of our Lord’s eternal and universal kingship. His kingship is eternal because it is a kingdom which reign and rule will never end, and God’s rule will persist forever without end. And His great rule will extend all over the entire universe, over all of creation and over the entire existence, since He has created all things, and therefore rightfully, He also lords it all over all of them.

But He did not despise all those that He had created, nor did He oppress them and treat them as if they were slaves. This is unlike the common action and perception of the kings and princes of this world, who stand above the rest of their respective peoples and treat them as subjects and subordinates that need to serve their needs in all things.

Instead, God is a loving Master, Who had not just expected from us obedience and genuine faith, but He also gave us the love, care and commitment that is equivalent if not greater than the obedience, faith and commitment that He is expecting from us. His kingship is a kingship of love and justice, and He as the King, leads all by His examples, through servant leadership.

Do we all still remember what Jesus frequently told His disciples about Himself? That He came into this world to serve and not to be served, meaning that even though He is King, and truly the King and Master of all the universe, but all these did not make Him proud or haughty, but instead, in order to fulfil perfectly the love and compassion which He has for us, He came down into this world, not as a great conquering King, but instead as a humble and poor Man.

Yes, and He came offering Himself to be our Deliverance and as our Saviour, to save us from our distress, and by giving Himself up, He showed us an example how a leader should lead others, by example and not by power and tyranny. We know the phrase that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is a reminder that we should not be obsessed with worldly power but rather we should look up at our Lord and see His good examples.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, how is this relevant to us? It is very relevant indeed, since all of us by partaking in our Lord and as we become the members of His Body, we have also shared in His divine and eternal kingship. We have been called to be a shepherd, priest and king through our baptism, and in the divine kingship we share with our Lord, we have our responsibilities to play.

And it is that all of us should live righteously before the Lord, leading one another by example through our own actions, that in all the things we do, we become paragons of righteousness, virtue, love and justice. Let us all remember this even as we rejoice and honour our Lord Jesus Christ, King of all kings and King of all the universe, that we also have a share in His kingship, both in the privilege and honour, as well as in its responsibilities.

May our Lord Jesus Christ, our King, Lord and Master be with us always, and may He guide us on our path, that we shall become ever better guides for our own brethren, and may through our actions and deeds, more souls shall come closer to the Lord and His salvation. Be with us, Lord, our Master and King. Amen.

Sunday, 22 November 2015 : Thirty-Fourth (34th) Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Christ the King, Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 18 : 33b-37

At that time Pilate asked Jesus, “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, 22 November 2015 : Thirty-Fourth (34th) Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Christ the King, Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr (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, 22 November 2015 : Thirty-Fourth (34th) Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Christ the King, Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

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

The Lord reigns, robed in majesty; the Lord is girded with strength.

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

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

Sunday, 22 November 2015 : Thirty-Fourth (34th) Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Christ the King, Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr (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.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Sirach (Ecclesiastes) 36 : 1-2a, 5-6, 11-17

Have mercy on us, Master, God of all, and look on us; make every nation stand in fear of You. Take action against the pagan nations and let them see Your power. Give new signs, do fresh wonders, stretch out Your hand and be glorified in Your strength. Kindle Your fury and rouse Your anger, destroy Your opponents, crush Your enemy.

Have pity, Lord, on the people known by Your Name, on Israel whom You called Your firstborn. Show compassion to the Holy City, to Jerusalem where You rest. Fill Zion with the fame of Your wonders, and Your people with Your glory. Confirm the promises made to Your people long ago and fulfill the promises made in Your Name.

Reward those who wait for You and fulfill the words of Your prophets. Hear the prayer of Your servants, Lord; hear Your priests giving Aaron’s blessing to Your people. So that all on earth may acknowledge that You are Lord and everlasting God.

Sunday, 29 March 2015 : Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord (Gospel Reading for the Procession of Palms)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Mark 11 : 1-10

At that time, when Jesus and His disciples drew near to Jerusalem and arrived at Bethpage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of His disciples with these instructions, “Go to the village on the other side and, as you enter it, you will find there a colt tied up that no one has ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, ‘What are you doing?’ give this answer, ‘The Lord needs it, but He will send it back immediately.'”

They went off and found the colt, out in the street, tied at the door. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders asked, “Why are you untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them, and the people allowed them to continue. They brought the colt to Jesus, threw their cloaks on its back, and Jesus sat upon it.

Many people also spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread leafy branches from the fields. Then the people who walked ahead, and those who followed behind Jesus, began to shout, “Hosannah! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David which comes! Hosannah in the highest!”

Alternative reading

John 12 : 12-16

At that time, many people who had come for the festival heard that Jesus was to enter Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him. And they cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!”

Jesus found a donkey and sat upon it, as Scripture says : ‘Do not fear, city of Zion! See, your King is coming, sitting on the colt of a donkey!’ The disciples were not aware of this at first, but after Jesus was glorified, they realised that this had been written about Him, and that this was what had happened to Him.