November 22, 2015

Cristo Rey

November 22, 2015:  Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

  • 'Crowns' tie:  One like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship (1st reading); "The Lord is king" (psalm); Jesus Christ is the ruler of the kings of earth (2nd reading); "Are you the King of the Jews?" (gospel)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  He freed us from our sins by his blood (2nd reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Every eye will see him (2nd reading)
  • 'Piano' pin for St. Cecilia
  • White shirt:  Liturgical color of Christ the King celebration

Christ's kingship opposes itself to the worldly logic that prizes ambition and rewards ruthlessness; it expresses itself in humility and selflessness and affirms itself silently but efficaciously with the force of truth.  The kingdoms of this world sometimes build themselves on arrogance, rivalry, and oppression; the kingdom of Christ is "a kingdom of justice, love and peace."  To reign as he does means to serve God and others, a service that flows from love.  To serve for love’s sake is to reign.  Before lacerations and wounds in the world, we ask the Virgin Mary to sustain us in our commitment to imitating Jesus, our King, making present his Kingdom with acts of tenderness, compassion and mercy.
Bl. Federico da Berga and his 25 Companions, all martyred during the Spanish Civil War, were priests, friars awaiting ordination, and Capucin Franciscan brothers: may they pray for our many brothers and sisters persecuted because of their faith in Christ.  Pray also for the success of my upcoming visit to Africa, that it might be a sign of closeness and love.

  • Dn 7:13-14  One like a Son of man came and received glory and kingship; everyone serves him.  His kingship won't be destroyed.
  • Ps 93:1-2, 5  "The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty."  He made the world firm; his decrees are trustworthy.
  • Rv 1:5-8  Jesus Christ is ruler of the kings of the earth.  Glory to him who loves us, freed us from our sins, and made us into a kingdom, priests for his God.  He is coming, and every eye will see him.  "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is, was, and is to come, the almighty."
  • Jn 18:33b-37  Pilate / Jesus:  "Are you the King of the Jews?" / "Do you say this on your own?" / "Your own nation handed you over.  What have you done?" / "My kingdom doesn't belong to this world." / "Then you are a king?" / "You say I am a king.  I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me."
  • Creighton:  Jesus didn't speak of a kingdom like the world's.  One like the Son of man will come and all will serve him; his dominion is everlasting.  Jesus' kingdom is present even now.  He longs for his voice to be heard.  His voice resounds throughout the world in the New Testament, passed on by the Church's proclamation.  More wonderfully, his voice resounds within believers' hearts.  The Good Shepherd's voice arises in us:  “His sheep hear his voice as he calls them by name and leads them."  May we discern Christ’s presence throughout the universe and in our hearts.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Your kingdom come":  A battle is raging between the kingdom of darkness, led by Satan, and the Kingdom of God, led by King Jesus, a battle for our loyalty.  There's no neutral ground.
  • Passionist:  Most of us don't think in terms of kings and royal families.  Our idea of kingship needs to include responsibility for subjects' welfare, showing mercy and compassion, championing truth, helping everyone seek and find the truth of life, serving his people, being attentive to our needs, providing strength in our weaker moments, healing our wounded moments, and forgiving us.  May Jesus, King of the universe, remain the center of our life and King of our hearts.
  •  "My kingship is not of this world":  Jesus was crucified for his claim to be Messiah King.  God at first didn't want to give his people a king because he alone was their King, but he relented and promised he'd establish a Ruler and an eternal Kingdom.  The Jews understood the Messiah ("Anointed One") would restore paradise and establish God's reign of peace. They wanted a King to free them from strife, division, and foreign oppression; they didn't understand Jesus' kind of kingship.  Jesus came to deliver the world from bondage to sin, condemnation, and death into the kingdom of God's justice, peace, and joy.   He knew the way to victory was submission to his Father's will.  The Father sent his Son to save us.  Jesus was mocked for his claim to kingship, but he died King of the Jews and King of the nations.  He exchanged a throne of glory for a cross of shame to restore us from slavery to glory.  If we serve the Lord, he'll open us to his truth and guide us to our true home and security with God.  Which kingdom will I serve? 
  • Sunday-trumped saint, thanks to Universalis:  Cecilia, virgin and martyr, patroness of music and musicians because her death candentibus organis (with red-hot pipes) was misread cantantibus organis (with organ playing)?  See Catholic Encyclopedia.

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