Sunday, November 26, 2017

Nov 26 - Christ, King of the Universe


I –As for you, my flock, I will judge between one sheep and another.
R –The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
II – Christ will hand over the kingdom to his God and Father, so that God may be all in all.
A – Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
G –The Son of Man will sit upon his glorious throne and he will separate them one from another.

+ We arrive now at the final Sunday of the Church Calendar Year 2017. Today our primary focus is on wrapping up all the celebrations and feasts of the current calendar year into one magnificent solemnity of joy and praise to Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe.

Jesus was given kingship by his Father; in coming to earth he was to initiate the first stages of a new kingdom right here in our midst, all with the goal of one-day handing over everything and everyone whom he could gather to his Father, for him to do with as he wills.

This means two important facts for us to never forget: Jesus must be our own personal king; and he must be king of our nation and all nations. It matters not what governments think of Jesus or his Father, what matters is what they think of them and the way they are handling the right ordering of society in charity and justice that is entrusted to them by God in their offices. Ignorance will not be bliss for them on judgment day!

And so the question arises for each party: do we live as though Jesus is truly our Lord, our King, but one who is also by his own insistence our Savior, our Brother and our Friend; and do our government leaders and those of all nations have a healthy and necessary fear of him and his final judgment that is certain to come one day? Perhaps the spiritual, moral and physical aspect of our own lives and that of our government would benefit from some deep, honest and personal soul searching and willingness to change what needs changing.

The gospel passage makes it extremely clear that there will indeed be a DAY OF JUDGMENT, when Jesus will do as he said he would do all along: judge us on our deeds: the sheep and the goats will be separated: and those who regarded everyone, but especially the poor as they would regard he, himself, will be counted as sheep and ushered into the Kingdom, and those who were too self-absorbed to even know the difference will be cast out as goats into eternal punishment.

But, while there is still life for the living on this earth, there is still time to make a self-examination and to ask for God’s never-failing mercy and forgiveness. Jesus came for the lost sheep – precisely, personally and preeminently! The Prophet Ezekiel today so fittingly relates the “heart’s embrace” that Jesus wants to establish with willing sheep: he wants to tend them, find those lost when it is cloudy and dark, bring back the stray, bind up the injured, heal the sick. All he needs from us is our willingness to have him lead us, carry us and love us: and belief that as Son of God he can carry us right into eternity with him.

On this grand and glorious solemnity let us run to Jesus Christ the King, Our Savior, our Brother, our Healer and our Friend, kneel before him and say: If it is your will, gracious Lord, my King, pick me up, hold me tight and never let me go, help me with my duty, and keep me heading towards the fullness of the Kingdom, where I shall be safe with you in our Father’s house forever! 

Amen. Amen!

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