Reflections

CHRIST THE KING, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2021

JESUS CHRIST IS A KING UNLIKE ANY OTHER
Greeting (cf. Second Reading)
All blessings to you from Jesus Christ,
our saving Lord and king,
the beginning and end of all that is,
who is and who was and who is to come.
His peace and grace be always with you.
R/ And with your spirit.
 
Introduction
Kings stand for power, riches, splendour. On today’s feast of Christ the King what kind of king is shown us? A man wearing a crown of thorns, in a purple mantle to mock him as a fake king, and standing as an accused criminal before Pilate who represents the world’s power. Where is true power to be found? It is in the truth of the power of God’s love to which Jesus came to testify by going all the way of serving love. God loves us totally in his Son Jesus. This is why Jesus is our Lord and King.
Jesus is a King on The Throne of the Cross. He hung on the cross, dying. Next to him there was one of the two criminals also dying with Jesus. One of the strangest dialogues ever took place here. The bandit, struck by Jesus’ serenity, said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And Jesus answered, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” A condemned man dying on a cross for a seemingly lost cause promises a kingdom and a paradise of happiness! This states strongly what kind of king we celebrate today: Christ, the king not of power but of truth and love and peace.
 
Penitential Act
How much have we followed Christ our king
in his attitude of service, love and truth?
Let us examine ourselves before the Lord.
(pause)
 
Lord Jesus, king of our hearts,
you were born one of us
in the poverty of a crib in a stable:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
 
Jesus Christ, king of the people,
you came to be the servant of all,
especially the sick, the weak and sinners:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
 
Lord Jesus, king of the universe,
your love went so far and deep
as to make you lay down your life for all:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
 
Bring us your healing forgiveness, Lord,
and make us share in your kingship
by helping us grow in your truth,
your love and your spirit of service.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
 
Opening Prayer
Let us pray that we may reign with Jesus
by serving with him
(pause)
 
God our Father,
when you wanted to show us
that you are the master of all
and the Lord of all people,
you sent us Jesus your Son
as the humble servant of your love,
who offered his life on the cross for all.
Give us enough faith to learn from him
that to serve is to reign,
and that to give our life to our brothers and sisters
is to find a joy and a happiness
that no one can take away from us.
We ask you this in the name of Christ,
our King and Lord for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
 
First Reading: Son of Man and Eternal King
In the vision of Daniel, a “son of man” will bring people together in his kingdom. This “son of man” will be no one else than Jesus.
 
1 Reading: DANIEL 7:13-14
As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.
 
Responsorial Psalm 93:1, 1-2, 5
R. (1a) The LORD is king; he is robed in majesty.
 
The LORD is king, in splendour robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength. R.
 
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD. R.
 
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed;
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days. R.
 
Second Reading: All Glory and Power to Christ
We are called to share in Christ’s victory over death and evil and to lead all people and the whole world to worship God.
 
2 Reading: REVELATION 1:5-8
Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”
 
Alleluia: MARK 11:9, 10
Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 
Gospel: My Kingdom Is Not of This World
Jesus acknowledges before Pilate that he is king. But his kingdom is not based on violence. It is the kingdom of those who freely accept the truth and the life of Christ.
 
Gospel: JOHN 18:33B-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.”
 
Commentary
“Yes, I am a king,” said Jesus. So… can you see him sitting there displaying himself beside, for example, King Herod the Great (one of the most vicious men who ever lived)? No, no. He was parodying the very idea of kingship. When he said “Yes, I am a king!” he was a prisoner standing before Pilate’s judgment seat! “What is truth?” Pilate asked him, but got no answer. (Matthew and Mark say that Jesus was silent before Pilate, and Luke says he was silent before Herod.) How could anyone hear an answer to such a question while sitting on a throne of judgment? When you are sitting on your throne of judgment don’t expect to come across any truths. I ask myself if the atmosphere in my own mind isn’t sometimes like the atmosphere in Pilate’s judgment chamber? Cold, shallow, judgmental, merely tactical. The real King, the Lord, is the accused, not the accuser.
A story was told of a visitor to London looking for the Royal Courts of Justice. He enquired for the address from a 90-year old man cleaning his frontage. The nonagenarian slowly stretched-up, told the foreigner wryly: “Go down the road, at the corner is Royal Courts of Justice. But I doubt if you will find justice there.”
Jesus Christ is our King whose Justice of Mercy!
 
Intercessions (based on a text by René Mouret)
Let us pray to Christ our King, that he may reign among all people by the power of his love. Let us say:
R/ Lord, your kingdom come.
 
– Blessed are you, king of the universe, who came to make us a free people. For the leaders of nations who love and bring freedom, and for those who make it die, we pray:
R/ Lord, your kingdom come.
– Blessed are you, king of the universe, who came to make us a people of brothers and sisters. For those who defend the rights of others and for those who defend only theirs, we pray:
R/ Lord, your kingdom come.
– Blessed are you, king of the universe, who came to make us a people of witnesses. For the Christians who live their faith and for those who let their faith die, we pray:
R/ Lord, your kingdom come.
– Blessed are you, king of the universe, who came to make us a people of the truth. For those whose words and deeds can be trusted and for those who betray you and one another, we pray:
R/ Lord, your kingdom come.
– Blessed are you, king of the universe, who came to make us a serving people. For those who care for one another and for those who go their selfish ways, we pray:
R/ Lord, your kingdom come.
– Blessed are you, king of the universe, who came to make us a people of hope. For those who keep toiling for all that is good and for those who give up in discouragement, we pray:
R/ Lord, your kingdom come.
 
Our Lord and king, with you we carry the burdens of our brothers and sisters. May its weight be light because it is a burden of love. Be our strength now and for ever. R/ Amen.
 
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord God, our Father,
you have put into our hands
a piece of bread, a little wine,
but also the growth of your kingdom
and the future of the world.
Make this growth and this future certain
by giving it the name of Jesus, your Son.
Like him and with him
commit us totally to you and to people,
in generous love and dedicated service.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.
 
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
In this Eucharist we celebrate how Christ freed us from sin by his blood and brought us life by his resurrection. With him we thank our Father in heaven and pray that we may be committed to him and his kingdom.
 
Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer
With Jesus, our Lord and king,
we pray to our Father in heaven
that his kingdom may grow among us: R/ Our Father…
 
Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and grant to a divided world
the peace of the kingdom of your Son.
Keep us free from the sins
for which in his love he died on the cross.
Reassure us in the trials of life
that those who serve him loyally
will share in his joy
at the coming in glory of the kingdom
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom…
 
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus, our Lord and king,
who is the beginning and the end,
the meaning of our lives.
Happy are we to be invited
to the table of his kingdom. R/ Lord, I am not worthy…
 
Prayer after Communion
Our God and Father,
Pilate said of Jesus your Son:
Look at the man — Look at your king.
Jesus has been with us now
and we have recognized him in faith
as your eternal Son, a man and our king.
Make us respond to his challenge
to become, like him, people living for others,
who can give a face, a voice,
a heart and a name to your saving love.
Help us to make him the beginning and the end
of all that what we are and do,
that he may be our Lord and king for ever. R/ Amen.
 
Blessing
Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing.
 
May the Good News of the Kingdom spread
and enrich all peoples and cultures
everywhere over the wide world. R/ Amen.
 
May the kingdom of Christ grow among us
as a kingdom of justice, love and peace. R/ Amen.
 
May the light of Christ’s truth enlighten all
and his serving love be alive in us all. R/ Amen.
 
May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
 
Let us go in the name of Christ.
R/ Thanks be to God.

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