HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING OF THE UNIVERSE
THEME OF THE HOMILY: Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory.
Fr Deotacious Chikontwe SMA
READINGS OF THE DAY
1 Corinthians 15:20-26,28
Dear friends in Christ, today is the last Sunday of the Church’s Liturgical calendar year A. Next Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, is the beginning of the church’s New liturgical Year B. The church’s liturgical year always closes with the feast of Christ the King. He is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, and no one is greater than Him.
FROM OUR FIRST READING
In our first reading passage today, we heard how the Lord told all of His people, the Israelites and their descendants that He is their Lord and Shepherd, and He would guide and lead them all through to the right path, gathering all of them, scattered throughout the world, finding out and reaching to the lost ones, so that every one of them would once again be gathered in His loving presence. These words came to the people of God at the time when many of them were indeed scattered, away from the lands promised to them and their ancestors.
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FROM OUR SECOND READING
In our second reading, the apostle Paul talks about the shepherd-king who not only seeks us out in the course of our earthly lives but who comes towards us at the end of our earthly lives, at our moment of greatest weakness, to bring us to a new and more glorious life. He says that ‘Just as all die in Adam, so all will be brought to life in Christ’. The desire of our shepherd-king is that, in the words of the responsorial psalm, we shall dwell in the Lord’s own house, for ever and ever. Christ the King is Christ the life-giver, who works to bring us from death to life, both in the course of our earthly lives and at their end.
FROM OUR GOSPEL READING
In our Gospel passage today, we heard our Lord Jesus explained about the Last Judgment, the moment when the Lord, as the King of Kings and the Lord and Master of all will judge all the living and the dead, and everyone shall be judged based on their actions and deeds, with those who are righteous and good rewarded and blessed, as those who are considered worthy to be enjoying forever the fullness of God’s grace and love. We also heard of how the wicked and those who have committed evil deeds, or failed to do what the Lord had told them to do, will be condemned and punished for their wickedness and failures. It is a reminder therefore for all of us that just as the Lord is loving and kind towards us, but He is also a God Who is just and expecting.
By identifying with those in need of shepherding, Jesus is calling on us to become shepherds. We are called to be shepherds to others. That may seem a daunting task but when Jesus spells out what that means in the gospel reading, it is not about heroic deeds that only a few people would ever rise to. The simplest of actions are what matter; the little deeds of kindness, such as welcoming the stranger, visiting the sick, visiting those in prison, feeding the hungry and clothing those who are poorly clad. Another saying of Jesus in the gospels bears that out, ‘whoever gives you a cup of water to drink… will by no means lose their reward’. Jesus seems to be saying that the un-heroic is heroic. He is also saying these ordinary acts of kindness which are within the capacity of us all have eternal significance. Such actions, which so often go unnoticed by others, are the royal road to life, both life now and life eternal. As Saint John of the Cross, one of the great mystics of the church, expressed it: “In the evening of life we will be judged on love alone”.
Happy Feast of Christ our King.
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