November 23, 2014

Christ the King

November 23, 2014:  Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  I'll tend and judge my sheep. (1st reading); The Lord is my Shepherd (psalm); God will separate people as shepherds separate sheep from goats (gospel)
  • 'Crowns' tie:  Christ the King
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  Christ, King of Love
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Christ, King of Peace
    • 'Feet' on shot-putter (bowler?) tie pin:  Christ must reign till he's put all enemies under his feet (2nd reading)
    • 'Clock' tie bar:  Ordinary Time closing, Day of the Lord coming
    • Green shirt:  verdant pastures (psalm), Ordinary Time season
      For Christ the King
      For gospel
      For 2nd reading

      For psalm
      Pope Francis homily
      Christ's kingdom is of truth, life, holiness, grace, justice, love, and peace.
      How he brought it about:  Closeness and tenderness.  He is the great Shepherd of the sheep and our protector:  looking over, gathering, leading, bringing to rest, seeking, bandaging, healing, pasturing, caring for, loving us.
      How he advanced it:  Paul:  “he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.”  The Father subjects all to the Son and the Son subjects all to the Father.  For Jesus, reigning is obeying the Father, giving himself over to him, so his plan of love and salvation may be fulfilled.  There's full reciprocity between Father and Son.  Christ’s reign is the period of subjecting everything to the Son and consigning everything to the Father.
      What it requires of us:  Closeness and tenderness are the rule for us too; the starting point of salvation is imitating Jesus’ works of mercy.  Those who do show they've welcomed Christ’s sovereignty, because they've opened up to God’s charity.  We'll be judged on our love for, closeness to, and tenderness towards others.  Jesus has opened his kingdom to us, but it's for us to enter, beginning now by being close to those who ask for bread, clothing, acceptance, solidarity.  If we love them, we'll share Jesus and his Gospel with them.
      Today the Church places before us the example of [Saints Kuriakose Elias Chavara, Mother Eufrasia Eluvathingal, Amato Ronconi, Giovanni Antonio Farina, Nicola da Longobardi, and Ludovico da Casoria, being canonized today].  Each served the kingdom of God, of which they became heirs, through works of generous devotion to God and people.  They responded creatively to the commandment to love God and neighbor.  They dedicated themselves unreservedly to serving the least, reflecting their love of God.  They sought and discovered love in a strong, personal relationship with God, from which sprang love of neighbor.  On judgment day they heard the invitation: “Come inherit the kingdom prepared for you!”  In their canonization, we honor Christ the King, loving Shepherd.  May they increase in us the joy of living the Gospel, embracing it as our compass, and imitating their faith and love, undistracted by fleeting interests.  May Mary, our Mother and Queen of all Saints, guide us to the kingdom of heaven.

      • Ez 34:11-12, 15-17  I'll look after my sheep.  I'll rescue them when they scatter, seek the lost, bring back the strays, bind up the injured, heal the sick, and give them rest, but I'll destroy the sleek and strong.  I'll judge between one sheep and another.
      Today's words
      (Click to animate)
      • Ps 23:1-6  "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want."  He gives me repose, refreshment, direction, nourishment, abundance, goodness, and kindness...
      • 1 Cor 15:20-26, 28  Christ has been raised.   Since death came through a man, resurrection also came also through a man.  As in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life.  Christ must reign until he subdues all his enemies; the last to be destroyed is death.
      • Mt 25:31-46  "When the Son of Man comes, he'll sit on his throne and separate people as shepherds separate sheep from goats.  He'll say to the sheep, 'Come inherit the kingdom prepared for you, for you fed me, gave me drink, welcomed me, clothed me, cared for me, and visited me in my time of need.’  They'll ask, 'When?’ and the king will reply, 'Whatever you did for one of the least, you did for me.’  Then he'll say to the others, 'Depart into the fire; you didn't feed me, give me drink, welcome me, clothe me, or care for me when I needed you.’  They'll ask, 'When didn't we minister to your needs?’ and he'll answer, 'what you didn't do for one of the least, you didn't do for me.’  They'll go to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
        • Creighton:  God's love has momentum:  When we're open to it, it transfers through us to others and back to God.  Jesus calls us to share that love with those most in need.  See and revere each person as a living, breathing tabernacle.
        • One Bread One Body:  Reigning kings placed their feet on their enemies' bodies as a sign of subduing them.  God's enemies are described as humbled beneath Jesus' feet.  Jesus died for all and reigns as crucified King.  We all were his enemies when we lived in sin, but we came to the cross and were shocked to realize how much he suffered out of love.  We fell at his feet to worship, thank, and praise him.  He washed our feet; now we should wash each other's feet, washing Jesus' feet by feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers, visiting prisoners, and comforting the sick.  Have I subjected everything to King Jesus?
        • Passionist:  Our courts are limited in what they can achieve; real peace requires a change of heart.  We look to God to lead us to that conversion. Part of letting Jesus lead us is taking action.  Am I willing to reach out to the "least" and listen to and learn from them?  To consider "them" part of "us?"  As connected as we may be by technology, there are so many levels on which we don't know or understand each other.  May we serve our King by serving others; may we follow him to peace and justice....
        •  "There are two kinds of people, because there are two kinds of love:  holy and selfish; one is subject to God, the other tries to equal him" (St. Augustine).  Jesus came to transform the law through his love and mercy.  Do I allow God's love to purify and transform me to think, act, and love others? / In dry lands like Palestine, goats and sheep grazed together during the day because pasture was sparse, so shepherds separated them at night.  Goats came to symbolize evil ('scape-goat' came to mean someone bearing blame for others). Jesus took our guilt and sins upon himself and set us free; we can choose to follow him or to be our own master.  After Martin of Tours took pity on a naked beggar, giving him half his cloak, he dreamed he saw Jesus robed in that torn cloak, an angel asking why he was wearing it, and Jesus replying, "My servant Martin gave it to me."  Then Martin flew to be baptized.  "Christ is above and below:  above in Himself, below in people.  Fear Christ above, and recognize him below.  Here he's poor, with and in the poor; there he's rich, with and in God.  Have Christ above bestowing his bounty; recognize him here in his need" (Augustine, Sermon 123, 44).  Jesus will ask, "whom did you love?"

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