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.

Sunday, 24 November 2019 : Thirty-Fourth and 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, on this Sunday, the thirty-fourth and the last in our current liturgical year cycle, we celebrate the great Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ as the King of Kings, King of all Universe, rejoicing together in our one and only True Lord and King. On this day we honour and adore our Lord and King, the One to Whom all glory and honour are due. All the other kings and rulers of this world derive and receive their authority and power from God, our King.

And His kingship is truly a very unique and wonderful one, which is different from the ways of the kings of this world. For this is not a king who uses his power and authority for his own gain and benefit, and neither did He make use of the authority to show His glory and might before His people as the kings and rulers of this world often did. Instead, if one were to look at the whole life and ministry of the Lord, one would not be able to recognise that He is a King if we make use of the standards of this world.

That was what the Pharisees and the enemies of the Lord took issue against Him for, as they could not recognise how He was truly the Messiah of God, the One Whom God had promised from the beginning of time, to be the perfect fulfilment of all those promises and all the words of God to us. The people thought of the Messiah as the mighty and conquering King like that of David and Solomon, and that the Messiah would come as a mighty King that will restore the kingdom of Israel as how it was during its glorious days.

Yet, Christ is truly a King, and King of all kings and Lord of all lords. His coming into this world precisely showed us all what His true purpose and mission, as well as the true nature of His kingship. His kingship and leadership is not one of pride and tyranny, but instead is one of service and of generous giving, in leading by example and in reaching out to every single one of His people without bias or prejudice, without fear, full of compassion, mercy and love.

Through Him, and by what we have heard today in the Scripture passages, we are reminded of the love which God has for each and every one of us, that He, our King, was willing to do everything He could for our sake. He came into this world to gather us all in to Himself, to be reconciled because of all of our sins and wickedness. And He has willingly bore the Cross for our sake and to suffer because through all that, all of us may live and not be destroyed because of those sins.

Here therefore, we have a great and wonderful King, One Who truly knows us all by heart, and Who is always ever concerned for our well-being. He has always sought our welfare and we are always foremost in His mind all these while. Yet, for all and everything that He has done for us, we mankind, His beloved people have not treated Him in the manner that we should have treated Him. We ignored Him, abandoned Him, betrayed Him and chose other things that we prefer more than Him.

Although the Lord is truly the King of our lives, but we acted as if our king and lord is something else, be it our own pride and ego, or our attachments to worldly possessions, to money and all the likes. We put our trust and hopes in these much more than we have placed our trust and hope in the Lord. And essentially, in our many pursuits of worldly glory, power, honour and all the sorts, we have forgotten about God, ignored Him and abandoned His ways.

Though we call God our King, but the way we behaved and the actions we take in life, the words that we uttered and spoke, the attitudes we adopted in this life all spoke of a different thing, as it is often quite evident that we have other kings in our lives other than God. And it is the sad reality that we even honour all these false ‘kings’ more than how we honoured and treated God. This is sad and truly ironic considering all the things that God, our King had done for our sake.

On this day, as we celebrate this Solemnity of Christ the King, we are therefore called to discern carefully on our lives, our every actions and deeds, our words and interactions with one another. Let us ask ourselves if we have truly regarded Christ as our Lord and King in our lives, or whether we have instead turned our back against Him and put other ‘kings’ that we deem to be more important than Him, by putting the idols of worldly glory and achievements, human praise and power, money and possessions in our hearts and minds?

Today we are all called to reflect on what we are to do if we truly love God as our Lord and King, and we are all called to action, if we sincerely and truly believe in that faithfully. For if we truly honour God as our King, then we need to begin to show it through our every day lives and actions. Otherwise, we will end up scandalising Him and our faith in Him, if we call Him our King and yet our actions and words show otherwise as what often happened in our lives today.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, how do we then honour Our Lord Jesus Christ as King? First of all, let us all embrace the wonderful love and compassion which He, Our King has shown us, accept His generous offer of love and mercy, opening our hearts and minds to welcome Him and enthrone Him therefore in our hearts. And then, having welcomed Him into our hearts, there can be only place for one King in us, and that is why we need to remove from us all the other false ‘kings’ that we have filled our hearts with.

And from now on, let us truly behave as one of God’s people, following Him as King. It means that we have to live our lives with faith, genuinely devoting ourselves to the path which God has taught and shown us. We have to show that God truly is our King, and all who see us will know that we belong to Him, and to Him alone. It will not be an easy path for us to take, as we all know how the Lord was rejected and despised by many, how He was persecuted and condemned to die when He came into this world bringing and revealing His truth to us all.

Yet, Christ willingly stood up for our sake, speaking the truth even though it meant His suffering and crucifixion. He willingly embraced the worst sufferings out of love for us, truly a King Who loves us all His people, worthy of all praise, glory and honour. And since God loves us all so much, to endure all these for us, then should we not love Him in the same manner, even if it means that we have to bear our own crosses in doing so?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, from now on therefore, let us all cease treating God less than that of the one and only true King of our hearts, and let us steadfastly proclaim Him as our King and Master, not through mere words alone, but through real and concrete actions of faith, by being exemplary Christians in all things, becoming genuine witnesses of the Lord’s truth by our lives. Let us all truly make Jesus our King, not just in name alone, but in reality and all truth, in all things.

Let us obey Him and follow Him and His truth in everything we say and do from now on, and glorifying Him by our lives. Let us bear our crosses patiently with Him, and follow Him to the end of our earthly lives so that when He comes again in the fullness of His glory at the end of time, He may gather us all and find us all worthy of the glory of His eternal kingdom, and bless us with graces everlasting and true joy and happiness with Him forevermore.

May the Lord Jesus Christ, Our King, and the King of all the Universe reign gloriously ever, and reign gloriously in our hearts and minds, that every inch of our being and existence may be filled with our love, devotion and dedication for Him, that we will no longer allow any false ‘kings’ or idols to occupy our hearts and minds, from now on. Let us all adore Our Majestic King and glorify Him always by our lives. Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat! Amen.

Sunday, 24 November 2019 : Thirty-Fourth and Last Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (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.”

Sunday, 24 November 2019 : Thirty-Fourth and Last Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Colossians 1 : 12-20

Constantly give thanks to the Father Who has empowered us to receive our share in the inheritance of the saints in His kingdom of light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. In Him we are redeemed and forgiven.

He is the Image of the unseen God, and for all creation He is the Firstborn, for in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible : thrones, rulers, authorities, powers… All was made through Him and for Him. He is before all and all things hold together in Him.

And He is the Head of the Body, that is the Church, for He is the first, the first raised from the dead that He may be the first in everything, for God was pleased to let fullness dwell in Him. Through Him God willed to reconcile all things to Himself, and through Him, through His Blood shed on the cross, God establishes peace, on earth as in heaven.

Sunday, 24 November 2019 : Thirty-Fourth and Last Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 121 : 1-2, 4-5

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” And now we have set foot within your gates, o Jerusalem!

There the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, the assembly of Israel, to give thanks to the Lord’s Name. There stands the courts of justice, the offices of the house of David.

Sunday, 24 November 2019 : Thirty-Fourth and Last Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

2 Samuel 5 : 1-3

All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your bone and flesh. In the past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led Israel. And YHVH said to you, ‘You shall be the shepherd of My people Israel and you shall be commander over Israel.'”

Before YHVH, King David made an agreement with the elders of Israel who came to him at Hebron, and they anointed him king of Israel.