Sunday November 23, 2014
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Reflection starts at 6:30 minute mark.
This week is a special solemnity in the Church. This is the last Sunday in the Liturgical calendar, where we cap it off in honor of Jesus as Christ the King of the Universe. Next week, we begin the new liturgical year with the season of Advent.
Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
This week’s first reading from the prophet Ezekiel reinforces the image of the Lord as our shepherd to us. Some historical context for this reading to note is that it takes place in the Babylonian exile where the Hebrews are out in the desert. Their assigned leaders in the priests and Emperor were failing in their responsibilities to God’s people, and Ezekiel prophesied this beautiful image of shepherd that never fails in His responsibility to His flock.
In their disenchantment with human leadership, the Lord promises that there will be eventually be no need for human leadership, then He will take care of His people Himself. The reading ends with a stern warning that we need to be sure to remember that the Lord will sift through the flock to make sure only His sheep get to stay with Him.
Psalm 23:1-2, 2-3, 5-6
R/ (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
This week’s second reading from St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is one of his early letters to a young and anxious Christian community. In their new faith, many in the community were growing nervous about the unknown end of the world. St Paul takes the question and worry and wraps it into the context of all of salvation.
The New Adam in Jesus is the source of all of our salvation, and we enjoy the salvation in Heaven if we live in him. The important point to remember is that it will all come in His order and we can trust that He will take care of us. He is King of the universe and all creation, and even death is no strong enemy to Him and is subjected to His power. Once everything is finally in order, then we shall be at peace.
The Gospel reading for this great solemnity is a powerful reminder of our ultimate judgment before the throne of God. All of creation is subject to the King, and Jesus wants us to remember that doesn’t mean that He is not always visible in all His glory. Our personal judgement will be heavily based upon our everyday life and how we choose to serve others and live out our summons to live a life of love given to others.
This reading can be so harsh to read because it is extremely difficult. We all have our favorite people that we enjoy being around, and often hold strong ideas about how we are good people. Still, this reminds us that we still have more room to love the world around us. May the Lord give us strength to live it out as He desires.
Reflection question from Bishop Vásquez
- This reading from Matthew gives us a to do list on how to care for the poor. How do you care for the poor? Is there more you can do?
Theme song Ignite – Soundwave soundwave.cc
Background Music This Week