Homily — Christ the King MMVIII Nov. 23, 2008

Homily — Christ the King MMVIII Nov. 23, 2008

We have come now to the Last Sunday in the Church Year. A year ago, we began the Church Year with the Season of Advent in preparation for the Birth of the Messiah. At the end of Advent we celebrated Christmas, Epiphany, Christ’s Baptism.

Back in February we entered the Penitential 40 Day Season of Lent, in preparation for Holy Week, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion and Death on Good Friday, the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil of the Lord’s Resurrection, and Easter Sunday.

Then for 50 days we celebrated the Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead; on the 40th day of Easter we came to Church to celebrate His Ascension into Heaven, and then for the next 9 days we prayed like Mary and the Apostles did — for an Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our Church and our world.

On Pentecost, the 50th and final day of the Easter Season, the Holy Spirit did come on us as we celebrated the Birth of our Mother the Church.

Then, for the rest of May, June, July, August, September, October, and November, each Sunday we focused on the Public Life of Our Lord Jesus — each Sunday we followed him as he went from town to town, working miracles and healing the sick and casting out demons and teaching with authority.

And now, the last Sunday of the Church Year, as we celebrate this Feast of Christ the King, the Church invites us to reflect on the Absolute Kingship of Jesus, both now and at the end of time.

In the Gospel, we see an image of Jesus coming in Glory down from Heaven, with all His armies of angels with Him; He will sit upon His glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before Him.

In our modern government, we have separation of powers, three separate branches of government, the Legislative, the Judicial and the Executive. The Legislative branch is given the power to write up the Laws of the country which citizens are bound to abide by, the Judicial branch is given the power to judge whether those laws are being kept or broken, and the Executive branch is given the power to execute punishment on those judged to be lawbreakers, and the power to reward those Judged to be Law Keepers.

But as Jesus says in the Gospel, All Power and Authority has been given to me by God my Father. Jesus in His first coming exercised His Power as Legislator — He promulgated His Law of the Gospel, which every human being is bound to obey.

And at the Second Coming of Christ in Glory, Jesus will exercise both Judicial Power and Executive Power: He will sit as Judge of every man and woman who was ever created, from every age and nation. He will Judge them according to the Law of the Gospel which He is the Author of.

As St. John of the Cross says, “In the Evening of Life, you will be Judged in Love.” Our Salvation or Damnation will depend upon how well we have loved the Least of Christ’s Brethren.

And once all have been Judged, then Christ the King will Himself execute each man and woman’s sentence. Jesus Himself will carry His Sheep in His Arms to the Bosom of the Father, to the Heavenly Mansion He has prepared for each of them. And Jesus Himself will also cast into Eternal Hell each of those who failed in Charity towards the least of His brethren.
When Jesus, the Word of God, commands something, that command is executed at His Word. When He said This is my Body . . . This is my Blood Bread and Wine became His Body and Blood. And when Jesus at the end of time will say to the Sheep Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you and to the Goats Out of my sight you accursed, into the eternal fire, these things will be done by the Word of His command.
And after Christ the King has returned in Glory to earth, Jesus will then reign over His people in a land where there is no more pain or sorrow or sin or hatred, but only love and peace and health and union with God and all the saint for ever and ever.

Such is the image of Christ the King in Glory, at the end of time.

But what about until then? How is Jesus King of Kings and Lord of Lords in our world today? We pray in the Our Father “Thy Kingdom Come”; but when we look around the world, it seems as if we’re getting further and further away from God’s Kingdom.

That is because from now until the end of time, Christ the King rules in this World from the Cross.

We read above every Crucifix an abbreviation of those world Pilate put there: INRI — Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudeorum, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.

And so He still is — Jesus Crucified is King of the Jews and of the Gentiles, Jesus Crucified reigns supreme in this world.

And Christ Crucified can be found in every hungry and thirsty man and woman; Christ Crucified can be found in every stranger wanting to be loved; Christ Crucified can be found in every sick person, in every person imprisoned by sin;

Christ Crucified can be found in every person unjustly treated — in those who suffer violence or abuse, in the person sold into slavery.

And more than ever today, Christ our Crucified King is to be found in the unborn child whose life is threatened by abortion.

Whatsoever we do to these least of our brother human beings, that we are doing to The King who will Judge us at the end of our life.

May we be loyal servants to Christ crucified in our brothers and sisters today, so that when Jesus comes in glory, he may say to us Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

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