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, 20 November 2016 : 34th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Christ the King and Closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the last Sunday of this current liturgical year, which the Church has crowned as the great Solemnity of our Lord Jesus, Christ the King, King and Master of all the Universe. On this solemn feast day, we commemorate our Lord Who is the past, present and future, as He was, is and will always be King of all kings, Ruler and Master over all.

All other kings and rulers gain their authority from the Lord, and no ruler has true power or authority unless it has been devolved upon them in one way or another from the Lord, on Whom all authority and power belong. But His Kingship is different from the kingships of the world, and the nature of His kingdom is different from the kingdoms and countries of this world.

Let us all look at the examples of the kings and rulers of this world. The kings and rulers of this world like to dress in the finest clothes and wear the best accessories, have the best vehicles, the nicest looking ones, and in our modern world many even have their own private jets and planes, helicopters and all the gimmicks and luxury of our world today. Many dwell in sumptuous and large palaces and residences, all designed to bring awe to all others who look upon them and witness their power.

And what do all of these bring these rulers and kings of this world, brethren? Many of them did so in order to garner more prestige, honour, praise, fame and wealth for themselves, trying to awe all those who view and witness their majesty. Many even tried to extort and made others to provide for more in order to do these. Yet, the reality behind all of these is that, they felt insecure because they did not have real and genuine power and authority with them.

And our Lord Jesus, Who is the One True King did not need to do all of them, for His authority came from Himself. In fact, He chose to lower Himself and empty Himself of all of His power and glory, becoming one of us as a Man, becoming one of His lowly creations, for one singular purpose in mind, and that is love. Yes, God Who is our King loves all of us without exception, each and every one of us are always foremost in His mind.

And that, brethren, is true kingship. A king and a ruler must always have his people first in mind, and not himself. When kings and rulers abandon this important tenet, that is when tyrants were born, those who oppressed the people and acted in ways that brought about benefits, glory and other goods for themselves at the expense of those over whom they are ruling and governing.

Jesus our Lord showed that by His own examples, going about to care for His people, all of them without exception. He went forth seeking those who had been lost to Him through sin, and that was why He went to seek for the lowest of the lowest in the society, those who have been rejected and ostracised because of their sins, the prostitutes and tax collectors. The Pharisees and the tax collectors failed to see and understand this, the reason why Jesus wanted to be with these people, who they themselves had condemned and cast out of the society.

The Pharisees, the elders and the teachers of the Law represented the elites of the Jewish society at that time, those with power, authority and influence, who were highly jealous of those whom they considered as rivals to their power, and that included Jesus, His followers and His teachings which are often against the ways of these leaders. That is because they have corrupted and twisted the laws to serve their own purpose and not the purpose of God.

But Jesus showed them all, all of the people, and us, His true kingship, as a King truly devoted to His people, and as One Who really show by example of what a ruler should do for the good of his people. He showed us that He is a King Who is also the Good Shepherd, ready to lie down His life for His beloved sheep, so that the sheep, His flock, may be safe amidst the danger around them.

The Kingship of Christ is the Kingship of love, mercy and compassion, and not of pride, hubris or ambition, unlike the kings of this world. His Kingship is the Kingship of truth and justice, as He proclaimed before Pontius Pilate just before He was condemned to die on the cross. He came to proclaim the truth before all His people, the truth about His love and the truth about how we can be reconciled with Him, but truth is not always pleasant to be heard and understood.

Many of us mankind profess to believe in the Lord, and yet, in our actions, we would rather have Satan, the devil as our king. To many of us, we put our human needs and desires often ahead of our responsibilities and duties as Christians, as those who ought to obey the Lord. And yet in how we carry out our lives and our actions, we do not resemble those who are called children and people of our God, our King.

Let us reflect and think of our own actions, and what we have witnessed in this world resulting from our actions, the actions of man. As I have related to you earlier on in this discourse, many rulers and kings of this world act in ways contrary to how the Lord had acted, because they shirked the responsibilities they had over their people, they served themselves and their needs first.

Wars and conflicts raged on in this world to serve the purposes of people’s greed and desires, the futile pursuit of worldly glory, wealth and human fame and praise. For the sake of a piece of land, or for wealth and properties, or even for the sake of hubris, ambition and human pride, mankind and particularly their rules have waged wars and conflicts that brought about pain, sorrow and destruction for many. And this is the sad reality of our human actions, of how flawed our humanity is now.

And today, therefore, as we rejoice and celebrate together this great solemnity and feast of Christ our King, there is that urgent need for us to really devote ourselves anew to our King, no longer with just mere words or paper proclamations alone, but rather with actions and real deeds. We must be truly devoted to Him in our ways and deeds, or else we are not being faithful to Him, and we will face the consequences in the end.

Rather, let us all be like the repentant thief at the side of Jesus, who acknowledged his sins before Him, and how he deserved to die while Jesus Who was innocent did not. Yet, Christ our King willingly laid down His life for our sake, even forgiving and dying for His betrayers and enemies. This is our One and True King, Who has shown us the way forward by His own actions and examples, through which He made known to us His infinite love and mercy.

Now it is the time for us to choose, shall we side with the king of this world, that is Satan? If we treasure and value the goods and pleasures of this world a lot, and spending our time so much on these things, even to the detriment of others around us, then we are siding with the devil. Or shall we instead side with the true King of all, Christ the Lord, Who is Lord even over the devil and all of his fellow rebel angels?

As Christians, we are all called to follow the examples of Christ. Therefore, just as He has shown us how to love, and how to forgive one another our sins and mistakes, we too should do the same. Let us all be good servants and followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, our King, the one and only King we have, Whose ways is our ways, and Whose laws is our delight.

May through our works and actions, the Name of our Lord and King will be glorified, and by our own examples, may we reflect His Glory and His truth, that we may be able to find our way to Him, with many others who will be inspired by our examples. O Lord, our Eternal and Almighty King, be with us always and never abandon us. Amen.

Sunday, 20 November 2016 : 34th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Christ the King and Closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Luke 23 : 35-43

At that time, the people stood by, watching. As for the rulers, they jeered at Jesus, saying to one another, “Let the Man Who saved others now save Himself, for He is the Messiah, the Chosen One of God!”

The soldiers also mocked Him and, when they drew near to offer Him bitter wine, they said, “So You are the King of the Jews? Free Yourself!” Above Jesus there was an inscription in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, which read, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals hanging with Jesus insulted Him, “So You are the Messiah? Save Yourself, and us as well!” But the other rebuked him, saying, Have you no fear of God, you who received the same sentence as He did? For us it is just : this is payment for what we have done. But this Man has done nothing wrong.”

And he said, “Jesus, remember me, when You come into Your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Truly, you will be with Me today in paradise.”