Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Solemnity), Year C
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
Liturgical Colour: White.
Mass Readings from ETWN.
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-327. 8-)
First Reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-3,
Responsorial: Psalm 122:1-5,
2nd Reading: Colossians 1:12-20 &
Gospel: Luke 23:35-43, CCTNtv.
Please spread the News to help the innocent victims who commit no crime. Many Thanks.
Till this day, there is no apology from the Rulers and no compensation paid for damages inflicted.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-327. 8-)
1. Today, the last Sunday of the liturgical year, we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. As the year draws to a close, the Church professes that the One who was crucified and rose again is the Lord of the world and of history: Easter casts its light on the whole cosmos and illumines it. It is the light of love and truth, which redeems the universe from death caused by sin, and renews the plan of creation, so that all things may acquire their full meaning and be reconciled with God and with one another.
While we are pilgrims here on earth, we look towards heaven, our definitive homeland. To reach the fulfilment of the divine kingdom, the Gospel urges us not to follow the “prince of this world” (John 12:31; 16:11), who sows division and scandal, but to remain faithful and humble in following Christ. He leads us to the kingdom of peace and justice, where God will be all in all.
2. The Church is an anticipation in history of God’s kingdom and shows this by being catholic, that is, universal. This morning in St Peter’s Basilica a solemn Eucharist has opened the Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops, whose theme is “Jesus Christ: Walking His Way, Telling His Truth and Living His Life”. The Synod marks a further stage on the Church’s journey: she gives thanks for the gift of the Gospel to all peoples and approaches the third millennium by committing herself with renewed vigour to the task of proclaiming it to the world. I give a most cordial welcome to all the Bishops of Oceania who have come to Rome from afar to take part, with the other Synod Fathers, in the work of this assembly.
I also ask of you, here present, and the entire People of God to pray for this important ecclesial event, which we hope will bear fruits of spiritual renewal not only for the communities of the Oceanian continent, but for all believers throughout the world.
3. By their witness, in fact, all the faithful have a leading role in the universal mission of serving the kingdom of God. In a special way, priests are sent to spread to every corner of the world the Good News of God’s love.
Dear brothers and sisters, remembering that today Rome is celebrating Seminary Day, I invite you to offer a special prayer to the Lord for priestly vocations. Jesus said to pray the Father to send workers into the harvest: we do this by invoking the intercession of Blessed Mary, Queen of Apostles, so that in Rome, in Italy and throughout the world, many holy vocations will mature in the image of the Good Shepherd.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 22 November 1998)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-328. 8-)
On this last Sunday of the liturgical year we are celebrating the Solemnity of Christ the King and the Church invites us to contemplate the kingship of the Redeemer that emerges very forcefully from the lives of the saints. This morning, in St Peter's Basilica, I had the joy of proclaiming four new saints: Bishop Joseph Marello of Acqui, founder of the Congregation of the Oblates of St Joseph, and three consecrated virgins: Paula Montal Fornés of Calasanz, Leonie Frances de Sales Aviat and Maria Crescenzia Höss.
2. If it is assessed according to the criteria of this world, Jesus' kingship can appear "paradoxical". Indeed, the power he exercises does not fit into earthly logic. On the contrary, his is the power of love and service that requires the gratuitous gift of self and the consistent witness to the truth (cf. John 18,37).
This is why the Lord gave his life as "an immaculate victim of peace on the altar of the Cross" (Preface), knowing that only in this way could he redeem humanity, history and the cosmos from the slavery of sin and death. His Resurrection attests that he is the victorious King, the "Lord" in heaven and on earth and under the earth (cf. Philippians 2,10-11).
We must pray tirelessly to obtain this great gift that is peace: a gift for which humanity has so great a need. Let us also ask for it confidently along with the two projects I announced to you last Sunday: the day of fasting in December, and the prayer meeting with the representatives of the world's religions in Assisi in January. May Mary, Queen of Peace, intercede for us with her divine Son, immortal King and Lord of peace.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 25 November 2001)
1. Today, the last Sunday of the liturgical year, we are celebrating the Solemnity of Christ the King.
The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council were focusing on Christ the King 40 years ago when, on 21 November, they promulgated the Dogmatic Constitution that begins with the words "Lumen gentium cum sit Christus", "Christ is the Light of humanity".
Lumen Gentium marked a milestone in the Church's journey on the highways of the contemporary world and was an incentive to the People of God to assume their responsibilities with greater determination in building the Kingdom of Christ, which will be fulfilled only beyond history.
2. Indeed, every baptized person, especially the lay faithful, is duty bound to spread the Gospel in the temporal order (cf. Lumen Gentium, nn. 31, 35, 36, 38). Moreover, in this mission, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is a useful aid; it was published just this year by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, to which I renew my gratitude.
3. However, if it is to achieve its goal every human undertaking must find support in prayer. Today we are celebrating the Day of Prayer. I entrust to Mary Most Holy the communities of contemplative life whom I greet with affection. May these brothers and sisters of ours never lack the spiritual and material support of all the faithful.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 21 November 2004)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-328. 8-)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-329. 8-)
The Liturgy of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King of the Universe in the Vatican Basilica has just ended. It was also concelebrated by the 24 new Cardinals created at yesterday’s Consistory.
The Solemnity of Christ the King was established by Pius XI in 1925 and, later, after the Second Vatican Council, it was placed at the close of the liturgical year. The Gospel according to St Luke presents, as in a great painting, the kingship of Jesus at the moment of his Crucifixion. The leaders of the people and the soldiers taunt “the first-born of all creation” (Colossians 1:15) and put him to the test to see whether he has the power to save himself from death (cf. Luke 23:35-37).
Yet precisely: “on the Cross, Jesus is exalted to the very ‘height’ of the God who is Love. It is there that he can be ‘known’.... Jesus gives us ‘life’ because he gives us God. He can give God because he himself is one with God” (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth (English translation, Doubleday, New York, 2007, pp. 349 and 354 ).
In fact, while the Lord seems to be mistaken because he is between two wrong-doers, one of them, aware of his sins, opens himself to truth, arrives at faith and prays “the King of the Jews”: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42).
From the One who “is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17) the so-called “Good Thief” straight away receives forgiveness and the joy of entering the Kingdom of Heaven. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). With these words, Jesus, from the throne of the Cross welcomes every human being with infinite mercy.
St Ambrose comments that this “is a beautiful example of conversion to which one should aspire: forgiveness is very quickly offered to the thief and grace is more abundant than the request; the Lord in fact”, St Ambrose says, “always gives more than is asked for.... Life is being with Christ because where Christ is there is the Kingdom” (Expositio Ev. sec. Lucam X, 121: ccl 14, 379).
Dear Friends, we can also contemplate in Christian art the way of love that the Lord reveals to us and invites us to take. In fact, in the past “in the arrangement of Christian sacred buildings... it became customary to depict the Lord returning as a king — the symbol of hope — at the east end; while the west wall normally portrayed the Last Judgement as a symbol of our responsibility for our lives” (Encyclical Spe Salvi, n. 41): hope in the infinite love of God and commitment to ordering our life in accordance with the love of God.
When we contemplate depictions of Jesus inspired by the New Testament — as an ancient Council teaches — we are led to “understand... the sublimity and the humiliation of the Word of God and... to remember his life in the flesh, his Passion and his salvific death, and the redemption that the world derived from it” (Council in Trullo, [691 or 692], can. 82).
“Yes, we need it, precisely to... become capable of recognizing in the pierced heart of the Crucified One the mystery of God” (J. Ratzinger, Teologia della liturgia: La fondazione sacramentale dell'esistenza cristiana, LEV 2010, p. 69).
Today, the Memorial of the Presentation of Mary at the Temple, let us entrust to the Virgin Mary the new members of the College of Cardinals and our earthly pilgrimage toward eternity.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 21 November 2010)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-329. 8-)
Before concluding this celebration, I would like to greet all the pilgrims, families, parish groups, associations and movements, who have come from many countries. I greet the participants in the National Congress of Mercy; I greet the Ukrainian community, which is commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor, the “great famine” brought on by the Soviet Regime and resulting in millions of victims.
Today our grateful thoughts turn to missionaries who, over the course of centuries, have proclaimed the Gospel and spread the seed of faith to many parts of the world; among these Blessed Junípero Serra, the Spanish Franciscan missionary. Today marks the third centenary of his birth.
I do not want to finish without addressing a thought to all those who have worked to carry forward this Year of Faith. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who has led this journey: I thank him deeply from my heart, he and all of his collaborators. Thank you very much!
Now let us pray the Angelus together. With this prayer we invoke the protection of Mary especially for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith, and they are many!
Pope Francis I (Angelus, 24 November 2013)
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, is the crown of the liturgical year and this Holy Year of Mercy. The Gospel in fact presents the kingship of Jesus as the culmination of his saving work, and it does so in a surprising way. “The Christ of God, the Chosen One, the King” (Luke 23:35,37) appears without power or glory: he is on the cross, where he seems more to be conquered than conqueror. His kingship is paradoxical: his throne is the cross; his crown is made of thorns; he has no sceptre, but a reed is put into his hand; he does not have luxurious clothing, but is stripped of his tunic; he wears no shiny rings on his fingers, but his hands are pierced with nails; he has no treasure, but is sold for thirty pieces of silver.
Jesus’ reign is truly not of this world (cf. John 18:36); but for this reason, Saint Paul tells us in the Second Reading, we find redemption and forgiveness (cf. Colossians 1:13-14). For the grandeur of his kingdom is not power as defined by this world, but the love of God, a love capable of encountering and healing all things. Christ lowered himself to us out of this love, he lived our human misery, he suffered the lowest point of our human condition: injustice, betrayal, abandonment; he experienced death, the tomb, hell. And so our King went to the ends of the universe in order to embrace and save every living being. He did not condemn us, nor did he conquer us, and he never disregarded our freedom, but he paved the way with a humble love that forgives all things, hopes all things, sustains all things (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:7). This love alone overcame and continues to overcome our worst enemies: sin, death, fear.
Dear brothers and sisters, today we proclaim this singular victory, by which Jesus became the King of every age, the Lord of history: with the sole power of love, which is the nature of God, his very life, and which has no end (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:8). We joyfully share the splendour of having Jesus as our King: his rule of love transforms sin into grace, death into resurrection, fear into trust.
It would mean very little, however, if we believed Jesus was King of the universe, but did not make him Lord of our lives: all this is empty if we do not personally accept Jesus and if we do not also accept his way of being King. The people presented to us in today’s Gospel, however, help us. In addition to Jesus, three figures appear: the people who are looking on, those near the cross, and the criminal crucified next to Jesus.
First, the people: the Gospel says that “the people stood by, watching” (Luke 23:35): no one says a word, no one draws any closer. The people keep their distance, just to see what is happening. They are the same people who were pressing in on Jesus when they needed something, and who now keep their distance. Given the circumstances of our lives and our unfulfilled expectations, we too can be tempted to keep our distance from Jesus’ kingship, to not accept completely the scandal of his humble love, which unsettles and disturbs us. We prefer to remain at the window, to stand apart, rather than draw near and be with him. A people who are holy, however, who have Jesus as their King, are called to follow his way of tangible love; they are called to ask themselves, each one each day: “What does love ask of me, where is it urging me to go? What answer am I giving Jesus with my life?”
There is a second group, which includes various individuals: the leaders of the people, the soldiers and a criminal. They all mock Jesus. They provoke him in the same way: “Save yourself!” (Luke 23:35,37,39). This temptation is worse than that of the people. They tempt Jesus, just as the devil did at the beginning of the Gospel (cf. Luke 4:1-13), to give up reigning as God wills, and instead to reign according to the world’s ways: to come down from the cross and destroy his enemies! If he is God, let him show his power and superiority! This temptation is a direct attack on love: “save yourself” (vv. 37,39); not others, but yourself. Claim triumph for yourself with your power, with your glory, with your victory. It is the most terrible temptation, the first and the last of the Gospel. When confronted with this attack on his very way of being, Jesus does not speak, he does not react. He does not defend himself, he does not try to convince them, he does not mount a defence of his kingship. He continues rather to love; he forgives, he lives this moment of trial according to the Father’s will, certain that love will bear fruit.
In order to receive the kingship of Jesus, we are called to struggle against this temptation, called to fix our gaze on the Crucified One, to become ever more faithful to him. How many times, even among ourselves, do we seek out the comforts and certainties offered by the world. How many times are we tempted to come down from the Cross. The lure of power and success seem an easy, quick way to spread the Gospel; we soon forget how the Kingdom of God works. This Year of Mercy invites us to rediscover the core, to return to what is essential. This time of mercy calls us to look to the true face of our King, the one that shines out at Easter, and to rediscover the youthful, beautiful face of the Church, the face that is radiant when it is welcoming, free, faithful, poor in means but rich in love, on mission. Mercy, which takes us to the heart of the Gospel, urges us to give up habits and practices which may be obstacles to serving the Kingdom of God; mercy urges us to orient ourselves only in the perennial and humble kingship of Jesus, not in submission to the precarious regalities and changing powers of every age.
In the Gospel another person appears, closer to Jesus, the thief who begs him: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (v. 42). This person, simply looking at Jesus, believed in his kingdom. He was not closed in on himself, but rather – with his errors, his sins and his troubles – he turned to Jesus. He asked to be remembered, and he experienced God’s mercy: “Today you will be with me in paradise” (v. 43). As soon as we give God the chance, he remembers us. He is ready to completely and forever cancel our sin, because his memory – unlike our own – does not record evil that has been done or keep score of injustices experienced. God has no memory of sin, but only of us, of each of us, we who are his beloved children. And he believes that it is always possible to start anew, to raise ourselves up.
Let us also ask for the gift of this open and living memory. Let us ask for the grace of never closing the doors of reconciliation and pardon, but rather of knowing how to go beyond evil and differences, opening every possible pathway of hope. As God believes in us, infinitely beyond any merits we have, so too we are called to instil hope and provide opportunities to others. Because even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy which is the heart of Christ always remains open wide for us. From the lacerated side of the Risen One until the very end of time flow mercy, consolation and hope.
So many pilgrims have crossed the threshold of the Holy Doors, and far away from the clamour of the daily news they have tasted the great goodness of the Lord. We give thanks for this, as we recall how we have received mercy in order to be merciful, in order that we too may become instruments of mercy. Let us go forward on this road together. May our Blessed Lady accompany us, she who was also close to the Cross, she who gave birth to us there as the tender Mother of the Church, who desires to gather all under her mantle. Beneath the Cross, she saw the good thief receive pardon, and she took Jesus’ disciple as her son. She is Mother of Mercy, to whom we entrust ourselves: every situation we are in, every prayer we make, when lifted up to his merciful eyes, will find an answer.
Pope Francis I (Homily, 20 November 2016)
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Compiled on 17 November 2019