November 25, 2018
Sunday, November 25
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
John 18:33 B-37
Pilate said to Jesus,
“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Because this is the last Sunday of the church year and the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, we are asked to reflect on the last things in our lives – on life, death, and the promise of eternal life in the reign of God. I realize that for some this is a hard topic to reflect on, however, God’s word this weekend sheds a ray of light of the world to come.
So, what is the point of calling Christ “the king”? After all, we gave up on kings a long time ago. In the United States we fought a revolution to get rid of kings. It can seem an antiquated image. But did you know that the feast itself was instituted less than 100 years ago? Pope Pius XI formalized is in 1925. With the rise of secularism, nationalism, and global strife, he sought to remind us that Christ is the true sovereign of all. It is in Christ that peace shall reign.
This last Sunday appropriately comes after our own wonderful national celebration of Thanksgiving so it is an important time for giving thanks for what we have received throughout this past year and throughout our lives. May all of us:
– Give thanks for the gift of life and the gift of new life in baptism.
– Give thanks for each of us being unique and special…the very best of creation.
– Give thanks for our families, communities and friends.
– Give thanks for the faith by which we are drawn out of darkness into God’s marvelous light and promise of eternal life.
– Give thanks by our particular calling in life by which we bear fruit.
– Give thanks for those around us…for all those who are easy to love … those in need of our love…and even those not so easy to love.
– Give thanks for Christ, our loving and merciful sovereign.
As we gather for Mass this weekend may our faith point to a God who does care, who is Almighty, who is ruler, and who invites us to be part of God’s everlasting reign. May we always honor our king, listening to the voice of Christ, in our worship and through our service to one another.
Deacon Frank Iannarino