Sunday, 21 November 2021 : 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 is the last Sunday of the current liturgical year, as next Sunday will mark the beginning of the new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the Advent season leading towards Christmas. This Sunday every year we mark the occasion of the great Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, also known as the Solemnity of Christ the King. This great celebration marks the end of every liturgical years reminding us of Our one true Lord and King, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and of all Creation.

As we listened to the words of the Scriptures we are called to reflect on the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for He is Our True King, the One Who lords over us all and the font and source of all authority in this world. He is the One to Whom we ultimately give our obedience and commitment to, even as we all obey the laws and the customs of the land, of our own respective states and countries. We reflect on the Lord our Saviour and King, Who willingly came down to dwell in our midst and to walk among us, taking up upon Himself our humble human forms, that He may share with us our humanity.

And by His sharing of our humanity, He became the One to lead us out of the darkness and into in the light. Through Him we have received the assurances of salvation and eternal life, as by His most loving sacrifice on the Cross, He gave us the perfect gift of His love and the gift of everlasting life through His sacrifice for our sake. In Him, Our Lord and King, enthroned upon His Cross, lifted up high between Heaven and earth, all of us have shared in His death, dying to our past wickedness, disobedience and sins, and sharing with Him the glorious Resurrection and new life through His own Resurrection on Easter.

Let us now spend some time to discern the readings of the Scripture we have just heard earlier on, beginning with our first reading taken from the Book of the prophet Daniel. In that passage we heard of the heavenly vision of the prophet Daniel, who received the vision of Heaven, seeing a Son of Man together with One of Great Age, which was in fact the manifestation of the Lord and His Holy Trinity, as the Son of Man was none other than Jesus, also the Son of God, while the One of Great Age referred to God the Father, the Creator of all.

In that vision, we were told that the One of Great Age, the Father, granted dominion, power and authority, of kingship over all creation and the whole universe to the Son of Man, which is symbolic of what we are celebrating on this day. In that action, the Lord revealed to Daniel and also to all of us that He is the One true Lord, Master and King of all, the One and only One Who has authority and power over all things, over all beings and over all creation. All kings, lords and rulers, all beings in Heaven, on earth and even in hell are all subjects of the Lord Jesus Christ, One God, One True King of all.

And as we heard in that passage from the prophet Daniel, he mentioned that the Kingship of Christ our Lord is clear and true, a true dominion that is for all time and for all things, unchanging and eternal. It is not merely just a symbolic kingship or rule that Our Lord’s Kingship us about, but a true Kingship, the King over all of us regardless of our national allegiance and regardless of our obedience to any worldly entities and states. The Lord’s kingship transcends the boundary of states and nations, and His kingship transcends any definition of race, or political affiliation and any other categories or groupings that we often divide ourselves into.

And in our Gospel passage today, we heard of the Lord Jesus speaking to Pontius Pilate, the Governor of Judea during the time of His Passion and suffering, when He was about to be condemned to death by the same Pontius Pilate. I am sure all of us are familiar with what happened at that time, as the Lord had been falsely charged and accused by the chief priests, the elders and the Pharisees of the attempt to rebel against the Emperor in Rome, while also charging Him of blasphemy against God.

In the claim that the enemies of the Lord made, they claimed that Jesus used the title of the ‘King of the Jews’ in referring to Himself and therefore, together with His large and popular following, He was a great threat to the Romans. To the Romans, who were overlords and masters of the land at the time, there was no greater crime than to rebel against the state and the Emperor, by claiming kingship or leading a rebellion for freedom against the Empire. Such a crime was punishable by death, and not just that, but those guilty were often punished by crucifixion, reserved for the worst of offenders.

Thus Pilate asked the Lord for clarification, whether He was truly the King of the Jews, and the Lord then asked him back where he had heard it from, which Pilate replied in amusement because it was those chief priests who had said so. When Pilate said that he had the power to release Him or to crucify Him, he was actually referring to the fact that if the Lord could prove that He was actually slandered by the chief priests and that they falsely accused Him, Pilate could very well have freed Him. But the Lord spoke the truth then when He did say that, yes, He is indeed a King, although His kingdom is not of this world.

The Lord Jesus did speak the truth, that His Kingdom is not of this world and is unlike anything that this world has ever seen. His kingdom was not built on earthly glory or material wealth, power or any other things that became the foundation of other kingdoms and dominions of the world. Instead, His Kingdom is built on His own authority, true authority and power that surpasses anything else. He did not depend on those things that sustained kings and lords, like money, wealth, power, fame amongst other things. He has no need for such things.

And unlike other kings and rulers who always tried to vindicate and prove themselves, and many of them seeking glory and greatness, with some even seeking to be regarded as divine and to be worshipped, where man wanted and aspired to become like God, to be gods and deities, in their hopeless and meaningless pursuits for these purposes, the Lord Jesus Christ was unique. How is that so? That is because He Who is the personification of all glory and power, full of power and full of glory, fully Divine and Almighty, has willingly laid down His glory and majesty, emptying Himself and taking up the condition of a criminal and a slave, exactly at the moment when He was crucified.

Yet, it was by humbling Himself so completely and perfectly, that Our Lord and King won His greatest victory, in delivering all of us, His beloved people from the clutches of sin and death. The Lord has triumphed and delivered us from the certainty of death and destruction, and fulfilled everything that He has promised to us and to our ancestors from the very beginning of time. The Lord our King has laid down His own life, like a Good Shepherd laying down his life for his sheep, all because He truly loves us and cares for each one of us. All of us are precious to Him and He knows all of us by our names.

And as we heard in the Book of Revelations in our second reading today, the Lord Jesus, our King will come again triumphant at the end of time, He Who has conquered evil, sin and death. He shall come again at the end of all things, to gather all of us, His beloved people and He will bring us into the kingdom prepared for all of us, the kingdom of everlasting life, filled with true joy, peace and love. The Lord, Our King and Saviour will bring us all together and deliver us the final triumph and victory.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all spend some time to reflect on what we have just heard and discussed. Are we thankful that we have Jesus as Our Lord and King, not as a distant person or being, but as One Whom we can always depend on, One Who knows our sufferings and have gone through the same sufferings as we have endured, One Who loves us most deeply from His heart and had endured with that love despite of our infidelities and stubbornness in rejecting His love and betraying Him.

But if Christ is truly our King, then why is it that so many of us are still living our lives and acted in ways that are contrary to the teachings and the ways of the Lord? Why is it that so many of us disregarded Him, betrayed Him and preferred to walk in the path of sin rather than to follow Him wholeheartedly and obeying Him as we should as our Lord and King. These are important questions that we should ask ourselves as we ponder on our own lives and actions thus far in life.

Let us all as we rejoice in this great Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, remember that Christ is our one and only true Lord, Master and King. And let this not be mere empty commitment and dedication, but one of true love for our King, of true and living dedication in each and every moments of our lives. Let us renew our commitment to Him, obey Him from now on in His Law, commandments and will. Let us follow Him wholeheartedly from now on and have no more doubts in our hearts.

May the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour and King continue to reign in our hearts, and let us always remember His love for us, as He gave His life and suffered for our sake. May He empower us all and strengthen us with the faith that we may glorify Him and proclaim Him courageously in our respective lives, to the best of our ability. May Christ, Our Lord and King reign forever and evermore, in our hearts and in the whole world. Amen.

Sunday, 21 November 2021 : 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, 21 November 2021 : 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, 21 November 2021 : 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, 21 November 2021 : 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, 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.