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.

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.”