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Feast of Christ the King

November 22, 2015

 



Reading 1
Dn 7:13-14

As the visions during the night continued, I saw
one like a Son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
when he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;
all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 93:1, 1-2, 5

R. (1a) The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed;
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.

Reading II
Rv 1:5-8
Jesus Christ is the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father,
to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
Behold, he is coming amid the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him.
All the peoples of the earth will lament him.
Yes. Amen.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, " says the Lord God,
"the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty."



Gospel
Jn 18:33b-37

Pilate said to Jesus,
"Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?"
Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?"
Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here."
So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?"
Jesus answered, "You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

 

Homily/Sermon


Kings do not exist anymore; queens don’t either. The ones we still have are only remnants from the past, impositions, antiquities, well-kept but no longer functional, such as Queen Elizabeth of England. Of course she is a queen but of not real authority. But kings and queens still exist in fairy tales, where children young and old tell their stories of people who ruled in such a way that there was peace and prosperity, justice and equity, and a prince for each princess all over the land.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrews often had that dream and desire of a king in their history. When they were in difficult times, they would pray: “Yahweh, give us a king!” And when they had one who was more part of the problem than part of the solution, they would pray again: “Yahweh, give us a king, a new one, a real one, The one we have is fake!”

That is why they even tried to make Jesus their king. He refused, walking away from them. Now Pilate asks: “Are You King?” His answer was: “Yes, I am a King, but not like the one you are thinking of. Subjects I have not in this world! Yes, a King, I am!” Hadn’t he come into this world to fulfill that old dream, to get rid of evil and sin, to redeem and liberate us? Wasn’t that the reason God sent him into this world?

“Yes, I am a King, but not the one you are thinking of. Subjects I have not in this world!” And then he speaks about all those who are listening to him, who are hearing his voice, who believe in his truth. Is he suggesting that we are or should be queens and kings, too? Queens and kings in the way humanity has always dreamed about kings and queens; those who establish justice and peace, prosperity and health for all. I think that is what he was talking about.

And yet in this story of Jesus’ last minutes on earth, a number of people take a final shot at the suffering King, Son of God. Even as He prepares Himself to die for our sins, people are still so self absorbed, so addicted to unloving judgeship that they vent their spleen at Jesus. However, this story of the bad guys at Calvary isn’t told to wag a scolding finger at these unnamed sinners of yesteryear. Rather, it invites us to reflect on our own relationship with the One we call King. Do we name him as did the jeering crowds, the soldiers, and the thief? Is there an element of mockery or world weary acceptance in our voice? Or is our naming Christ as King, a true call of love, devotion and servitude. We sing His praise as King today, but how do we really name the King to whom we sing?

Do we do that in a way as queens and kings humanity has always dreamed, as he has called us in servitude to be, to establish justice and peace, prosperity and health for all? Seems like, besides taking back our country from those who are pulling so hard to take it away, we are also called, but as servants, to take back our Christianity, from those very same people.


Thank you and have a great week.

 

© Deacon Steve A. Politte
November 22, 2015

 

 

 

Let There Be Peace on Earth by Vince Gill

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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