with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of your glory, as without end we acclaim:
All:Holy,Holy,Holy Lord God of hosts…
The Lord sits as King for ever. The Lord will bless his people with peace. (Ps 28:10-11)
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Having received the food of immortality, we ask, O Lord, that, glorying in obedience to the commands of Christ, the King of the universe, we may live with him eternally in his heavenly Kingdom. Who lives and reigns...
LITURGY AND LIFE
As we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King we are reminded of what the angel Gabriel told Mary while announcing the forthcoming birth of Jesus, “His Kingdom will have no end” (Lk 1:33). The events which were unfolded soon revealed the kind of kingdom that Jesus would establish. In his first preaching in Galilee he appealed to people: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15). At the end of his life he declared before Pilate: my kingship is not of this world…my kingship is not from the world” (Jn 18:36).
As we go through the earthly life of Jesus we come across four features of this Kingdom: a) The Kingdom attacked by Satan: As soon as Jesus was baptized and was declared as his own son by God the Father he was led by the spirit in the wilderness to be tested by Satan. One of the temptations was that Jesus was shown all the kingdoms of this world and was tempted by Satan just to bow before him. But Jesus overcame this temptation and was sovereign over the material and the evil power in the world. The message is clear: one cannot enter into the Kingdom of God without overcoming the temptation connected with the kingdom of this world. b) The Kingdom misunderstood by dear and near Ones: Jesus preached in his own home-town Nazareth where he was rejected by his own people. Some even tried to seize him thinking that he was out of his mind. Jesus was misunderstood as having a demon or casting out demon with the help of Beelzebul. In the Kingdom preached by Jesus there is no place for the evil one. Such miscon-ceptions about Jesus’ actual idea of the Kingdom of God become block in entering into that
Kingdom. In fact in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray for the coming of the Kingdom and asked them to pray that they may be delivered from the evil one. c) Kingdom opposed by Authorities: While Jesus was teaching the crowd about the Kingdom of heaven he came in conflict with the religious and political authorities. The condemned him of blasphemy and treachery. They sought to trap him in words. They questioned him about his authority. They also counselled together against him and insti-gated the crowd to go against him. But Jesus was victorious in all his encounters with these authorities. No one enters the Kingdom of heaven by resisting the power of God working in that Kingdom. d) Kingdom weakened by the Disciples: Though Jesus had explained to the disciples in private about the nature of the Kingdom of God they failed to understand it. In spite of having given power to cast out demons they were unable to heal the boy suffering from epilepsy because they failed to maintain the discipline of fasting and prayer. Peter cast sword to protect Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Judas sold him for thirty piece of silver and other deserted him when he needed them the most. The one who was given the keys of the Kingdom (Peter) denied him openly. One cannot be a disciple of the Kingdom if one does not follow the discipline of the Kingdom.
In spite of all these odds Jesus’ Kingdom had no end. He still continues to rule the hearts of many. He is found among the poor and the marginalized. Since the poor will be always with us, that is, since poverty is a permanent reality Jesus will continue to be found among the poor.
– Fr (Dr) Robert B. D’Souza
READINGS OF THE WEEK
Psalter Week 2
Rev 14:1-3.4b-5/Ps 24:1bc-2.3-4ab.5-6/Lk 21:1-4
St Catherine of Alexandria, Rev 14:14-19/Ps 96:10.11-12.13/Lk 21:5-11