The SOLEMNITY OF JESUS CHRIST, UNIVERSAL KING
Ezekiel 34, 11-12. 15-17; Psalm 23; 1 Corinthians 15, 20-26. 28; Matthew 25, 31-46
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!
Christ conquers! Christ rules! Christ reigns!
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels of heaven, he will sit upon his royal throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him.” (Mt 25) We worship Jesus Christ as Lord and King because he is victorious in the battle over sin and death. In His resurrection, which we celebrate and in which we participate at every Eucharistic Sacrifice, our Lord established His rule over all creation, and overcame in Himself the effects of the sin of Adam. Christ is Lord, for he has conquered what we fear most and have no power against, the cruel and bitter specter of death. We cannot but exult and shout for joy with the knowledge that we can share in His Resurrection. We share in the Resurrection in the first place by meeting Christ in the liturgy, in Word and Sacrament. The Christ we receive in the Eucharist is the Easter Christ, the risen and glorified Christ as he is now victoriously seated at the right hand of the Father in glory.
The lesson of the final judgment in St. Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 25, verses thirty-one to forty-six, makes clear that we are to seek out and to meet Christ wherever he may be found, in a particular way in human life in all its stages and conditions. “Truly, I say to you, as you did it one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” (Mt 25:40)
The Lord associates himself in a mysterious way with the poor. We may have great reverence for His true and real presence in the Blessed Sacrament, and are called to love him with our whole heart, mind soul and strength. Yet, we cannot please God or love Him as we ought if we fail to love our neighbor as our self, doing so for love of Christ. The divine love and life poured out abundantly in the Eucharist is given both for love of God and love of neighbor.
The Catechism teaches that the requirement of charity for our neighbor flows from the presence of Christ by the power of his word and the Holy Spirit.
‘Christ Jesus who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us,’ is present in many ways to his Church: (Rom 8:34) in his word, in his Church’s prayer, ‘where two or three are gathered in my name,’ (Mt 18:20) in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, (Mt 25:31-46) in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But ‘he is present…most especially in the Eucharistic species’. (CCC 1373)
Our Lord Jesus has given His Body and Blood to us precisely so that we may overflow with the same love for others that he has first given to us. It is for this reason that he will judge us at the end of the world on the ways in which we have generously and self-sacrificingly offered ourselves for the life of others in imitation of the way in which He gives of His own life unceasingly for His bride, the Church.
It is fashionable today to take up such causes as feeding the hungry, building shelter for the homeless, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty. These are good and necessary, and a sign that Christ is at work among many men and women of good will. There remain, however, the many who are neglected, abandoned, whose lives are threatened. The Christian will be praised for feeding, clothing and helping the poor, for being with the lonely. These are good works and they must be taken up by the Christian community together with all men and women of good will. The Christian, however, is condemned and attacked for recognizing that these works of charity should also be extended to the confused and rejected young mother, to the unborn child, to the terminally ill, and to all those whose lives are determined to be not worth living.
The kingdom of Christ, a reign of charity and peace, is for all. The Lord sends us out as his disciples so that all mankind may be brought under his reign in the world. We the baptized are the agents through whom the social kingship of Christ will be realized. Our baptism is our commission and our grace for the apostolate.
Today after Mass, with others or with the whole congregation and with priest or deacon leading, pray together the “Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus”, in petition that “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we “meet Christ in the liturgy” -Fr. Cusick (Publish with permission.)
Digest of Articles from Catholic Blogs and Websites
November 24, 2013
Christ the King
After his arrest, Jesus has been accused before Pilate, the Roman governor, of being opposed to Caesar and of claiming to be the Messiah of God, a king. Now, having been condemned to death under Roman law, Jesus is being crucified along with two criminals. The rulers and the soldiers taunt Jesus and call out that if he is the Messiah and king of the Jews, he should be able to save himself. One of the criminals also reviles Jesus saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us.” The other criminal, however, recognizing his own crimes and the goodness of Jesus, says, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus responds, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”