Christ the King
34th SUNDAY IN ORDINRAY TIME
November 23, 2008 Year: A
Ezek. 34:11-12, 15-17; 1 Cor. 15:20-26, 28; Mt. 25:31-46
The love and justice of the eternal King
the Lord God;
'I myself will search for my sheep,
and will seek them out.
As shepherds seek out their flocks
when they are among their scattered sheep,
so I will seek out my sheep.
I will rescue them from all the places
to which they have been scattered
on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep,
and I will make them lie down.' says the Lord God.
'I will seek the lost,
and I will bring back the strayed,
and I will bind up the injured,
and I will strengthen the weak,
but the fat and the strong I will destroy.
I will feed my sheep with justice.
'As for you, my flock,' thus says the Lord God:
'I shall judge between one sheep and another,
between rams and goats.'" [Ezek. 34:11-2, 15-7]
been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who
have died. For since death came through a human being,
the resurrection of the dead has also come through a
human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made
alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the
first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to
Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to
God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and
every authority and power. For he must reign until he
has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy
to be destroyed is death.
When all things are subjected to him, then the Son
himself will also be subjected to the one who put all
things in subjection under him, so that God may be all
in all." [1 Cor. 15:20-6, 28]
to his disciples: 'When the Son of Man comes in his
glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on
the throne of his glory. All the nations will be
gathered before him, and he will separate people one
from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the
goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and
the goats at the left.
Then the king will say to
those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by
my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave
me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to
drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked
and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care
of me, I was in prison and you visited me.'
Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it
that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and
gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw
you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you
clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in
prison and visited you?' And the king will answer thenm,
'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the
least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it
Then he will say to those at
his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me
into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his
angels; for I was hungy and you gave me no food, I was
thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a
stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did
not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not
Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we
saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick
or in prison, and did not take care of you?' Then he
will asnwer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not
do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to
me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but
the righteous into eternal life." [Mt. 25:31-46]
The history of mankind has witnessed
various types of kings and rulers. There were rulers who
involved themselves in all types of corruptive and
destructive power of money, violence and lust, like the
Roman kings who destroyed nations and enjoyed their life
and lived lavishly. There were arrogant and violent
rulers who were sporting war, violence, and hatred; for
example Hitler, Nero, and Idiamin and many others. Today
we speak and celebrate the Kingship of Christ, who is
the king of kings, but with a difference. He came into
this world, son of God, made man, born of a woman, born
poor, who came to die and to give life. He said, “I have
come to give life, and life in abundance” (Jn 10.10).
What a paradox. I have come to give life – that means
sacrifice my own life – and give it to you – in
STORIES OF KINGS:
An old hermit was once invited to visit
the court of the most powerful king of those times.
I envy such a saintly man, who is
content with so little - said the ruler.
I envy Your Majesty, because you are
content with less than what I have - responded the
How can you say such a thing, if this
entire country belongs to me? - said the offended
For precisely that reason. I have the
music of the celestial spheres, I have the rivers and
mountains of the whole world, I have the moon and the
sun, because I have God in my soul. Your Majesty, on
the other hand, has only this kingdom.
The ancestor’s bones
There was a king of Spain who was very proud of his
ancestors, and who was known for his cruelty to the
One time, he was walking with his advisers across a
field in Aragon, where - years before - he had lost his
father during a battle, when he found a holy man
searching a large pile of bones.
What are you doing there? - asked the
Honored greetings, Your Majesty - said
the holy man. - When I heard that the king of Spain
was coming this way, I resolved to recover the bones
of your late father and present them to you. But
however hard I search, I cannot find them: they are
exactly the same as the bones of country folk, the
poor, beggars and slaves.
The name is found in various forms in scripture: King
Eternal (1 Timothy 1:17), King of Israel (John 1:49),
King of the Jews (Mt. 27:11), King of kings (1 Tim 6:15;
Rev. 19:16), King of the Ages (Book of Revelation 15:3)
and Ruler of the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5)
Those who fought against suppression of
the Church in the French Revolution have vehemently
noted the French words 'Dieu Le Roi' beneath the
heart-and-cross, meaning 'God (is) the king'.
The ideological movement of Christ's
Kingship was addressed in the encyclical Quas Primas of
Pope Pius XI, published in 1925, which has been called
"possibly one of the most misunderstood and ignored
encyclicals of all time". The Pontiff's encyclical
quotes with approval Cyril of Alexandria, noting that
Jesus' Kingship is not obtained by violence: "'Christ,'
he says, 'has dominion over all creatures, a dominion
not seized by violence nor usurped, but his by essence
and by nature.'"
Pope Benedict XVI has remarked, that
Christ's Kingship is not based on "human power" but on
loving and serving others. The prefect exemplar of that
acceptance, he pointed out, is the Virgin Mary. Her
humble and unconditional acceptance of God's will in her
life, the Pope noted, was the reason that "God exalted
her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her
Queen of heaven and earth.
On this Sunday which closes the
liturgical year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. In the
Gospel we listened to Pontius Pilate's question to
Jesus: "Are you the King of the Jews?" (Jn 18:33). Jesus
replies by asking in turn: "Do you say this of your own
accord, or did others say it to you about me?" (Jn
18:34). And Pilate answers: "Am I a Jew? Your own nation
and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what
have you done?" (Jn 18:35).
At this point in the dialogue, Christ
states: "My kingship is not of this world; if my
kingship were of this world, my servants would fight,
that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my
kingship is not from the world" (Jn 18:36).
Everything is clear and transparent now.
Faced with the priests' accusation, Jesus reveals that
his is another kind of kingship, a divine and spiritual
kingship. Pilate asks for confirmation: "So you are a
king?" (Jn 18:37). At this point, excluding every
erroneous interpretation of his royal dignity, Jesus
indicates his true kingship: "I am a king. For this I
was born, and for this I have come into the world, to
bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth
hears my voice" (Jn 18:37).
sheep, those who have persevered in their living faith
until the end, Jesus will say, come, you that are
blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for
you from the foundation of the world. For when I was
hungry, you gave Me food. When I was thirsty, you gave
Me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you
welcomed Me. When I was naked, you gave Me clothing.
When I was sick, you took care of Me. When I was in
prison, you visited Me. For as you did it to one of the
least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it
To the goats on His left, He will say, you that are
accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire 0prepared
for the devil and his angels. When I was hungry, you did
not feed Me. When I was thirsty, you gave Me nothing to
Today's Gospel echoes the eternal Divine love and
justice of our beloved King. He will show His eternal
love to those who have shown love in this world. He will
show His eternal justice against those who have failed
to live a righteous life. Divine justice shall favour
those who have been persecuted because of their living
faith in Christ.
MYBE YOU’LL LIKE THIS STORY:
There was once a Catholic King’s son who
went out into the world, and he was full of thought and
sad. He looked at the sky, which was so beautifully
pure and blue, then he sighed, and said, how well must
all be with one up there in heaven. Then he saw a poor
gray-haired man who was coming along the road towards
him, and he spoke to him, and asked, how can I get to
heaven. The man answered, by poverty and humility. Put
on my ragged clothes, wander about the world for seven
years, and get to know what misery is, take no money,
but if you are hungry ask compassionate hearts for a bit
of bread. In this way you will reach heaven.
Then the king’s son took off his
magnificent coat, and wore in its place the beggar’s
garment, went out into the wide world, and suffered
great misery. He took nothing but a little food, said
nothing, but prayed to the Lord to take him into his
heaven. When the seven years were over, he returned to
his father’s palace, but no one recognized him. He said
to the servants, go and tell my parents that I have come
back again. But the servants did not believe it, and
laughed and left him standing there. Then said he, go
and tell it to my brothers that they may come down, for
I should so like to see them again. The servants would
not do that either, but at last one of them went, and
told it to the king’s children, but these did not
believe it, and did not trouble themselves about it.
Then he wrote a letter to his mother, and described to
her all his misery, but he did not say that he was her
son. So out of pity, the queen had a place under the
stairs assigned to him, and food taken to him daily by
two servants. But one of them was ill-natured and said,
why should the beggar have the good food, and kept it
for himself, or gave it to the dogs, and took the weak,
emaciated beggar nothing but water. The other, however,
was honest, and took the beggar what was sent to him.
It was little, but he could live on it for a while, and
all the time he was quite patient, but he grew
continually weaker. As his illness increased, he
desired to receive the last sacrament. When the mass
was being celebrated, all the bells in the town and
neighborhood began to ring of their own accord. After
mass the priest went to the poor man under the stairs,
and there he lay dead. In one hand he had a rose, in
the other a lily, and beside him was a paper on which
was written his history. All were surprised at his
courage. Well, he really was a happy man. Being
miserable, he had known the real world. He was content,
in spite of being poor and miserable.
Yes, our King became poor, died a death of a criminal on
the Cross and redeemed us.