November 24, 2019:Christ the King Sunday, Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Catholic Social Teaching:Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Reflect on time:
First Reading: 2nd Samuel 5:1-3
Psalm: 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
Second Reading: Colossians 1:12-20
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Though already present in his Church, Christ’s reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled “with power and great glory” by the King’s return to earth. This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ’s Passover. Until everything is subject to him, “until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God.” That is why Christians pray, above all in the Eucharist, to hasten Christ’s return by saying to him: Marana tha! “Our Lord, come!” (671) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to Christ the King Sunday, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
Christian realism sees the abysses of sin, but in the light of the hope, greater than any evil, given by Jesus Christ’s act of redemption, in which sin and death are destroyed (cf. Rom 5:18-21; 1 Cor 15:56-57): “In him God reconciled man to himself”. It is Christ, the image of God (cf. 2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15), who enlightens fully and brings to completion the image and likeness of God in man. The Word that became man in Jesus Christ has always been mankind’s life and light, the light that enlightens every person (cf. Jn 1:4,9). God desires in the one mediator Jesus Christ, his Son, the salvation of all men and women (cf. 1 Tim 2:4-5). Jesus is at the same time the Son of God and the new Adam, that is, the new man (cf. 1 Cor 15:47-49; Rom 5:14): “Christ the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals man to himself and brings to light his most high calling”. In him we are, by God, “predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren” (Rom 8:29). (121)
Human activity aimed at enhancing and transforming the universe can and must unleash the perfections which find their origin and model in the uncreated Word. In fact, the Pauline and Johannine writings bring to light the Trinitarian dimension of creation, in particular the link that exists between the Son—Word — the Logos — and creation (cf. Jn 1:3; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:15-17). Created in him and through him, redeemed by him, the universe is not a happenstance conglomeration but a “cosmos”. It falls to man to discover the order within it and to heed this order, bringing it to fulfilment: “In Jesus Christ the visible world which God created for man — the world that, when sin entered, ‘was subjected to futility’ (Rom 8:20; cf. ibid. 8:19-22) — recovers again its original link with the divine source of Wisdom and Love”. In this way — that is, bringing to light in ever greater measure “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8), in creation, human work becomes a service raised to the grandeur of God. (262)
Colossians 1:156-16, 1:15-18, 1:18 and 1:20
Faith in Jesus Christ makes it possible to have a correct understanding of social development, in the context of an integral and solidary humanism. In this regard, the contribution of theological reflection offered by the Church’s social Magisterium is very useful: “Faith in Christ the Redeemer, while it illuminates from within the nature of development, also guides us in the task of collaboration. In the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians, we read that Christ is ‘the firstborn of all creation,’ and that ‘all things were created through him’ and for him (Col 1:15-16). In fact, ‘all things hold together in him’, since ‘in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things’ (v. 20). A part of this divine plan, which begins from eternity in Christ, the perfect ‘image’ of the Father, and which culminates in him, ‘the firstborn from the dead’ (v. 15-18), in our own history, marked by our personal and collective effort to raise up the human condition and to overcome the obstacles which are continually arising along our way. It thus prepares us to share in the fullness which ‘dwells in the Lord’ and which he communicates ‘to his body, which is the Church’ (v. 18; cf. Eph 1:22-23). At the same time sin, which is always attempting to trap us and which jeopardizes our human achievements, is conquered and redeemed by the ‘reconciliation’ accomplished by Christ (cf. Col 1:20)”. (327)
The entrance of Jesus Christ into the history of the world reaches its culmination in the Paschal Mystery, where nature itself takes part in the drama of the rejection of the Son of God and in the victory of his Resurrection (cf. Mt 27:45,51, 28:2). Crossing through death and grafting onto it the new splendour of the Resurrection, Jesus inaugurates a new world in which everything is subjected to him (cf. 1 Cor 15:20-28) and he creates anew those relationships of order and harmony that sin had destroyed. Knowledge of the imbalances existing between man and nature should be accompanied by an awareness that in Jesus the reconciliation of man and the world with God — such that every human being, aware of divine love, can find anew the peace that was lost — has been brought about. “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). Nature, which was created in the Word is, by the same Word made flesh, reconciled to God and given new peace (cf. Col 1:15-20). (454)
Jesus, by His resurrection, in all things might be preeminent. Not an issue, not a cause should take precedent over His peace. The precepts of faith in heaven and on earth take root in the basis of His kingship.
A kingdom of truth and life
A kingdom of holiness and grace
A kingdom of justice, love and peace
(From Preface for Christ, King of the Universe Sunday)
A kingship exhibited on the cross, not by dismounting but speaking His words into eternal fruition. No need to save Himself or others from mockery by unjust powers or questioning hearts. A gift of inheritance we receive that delivers us from the darkness through the forgiveness of our sins. We dwell as the Body of Christ, the Church with Christ as the head for unity. A place where we ponder not our unworthiness, but go rejoicing to the house of the Lord, to give thanks.
Kings and kingdoms may seem a distant context, forged in antiquity. The thought of being a subject contradictory to our free spirit. But a word that should mold our perception of king and kingdom is allegiance. Who do we bow to when approaching the altar or genuflect to when entering a pew? Our mind and heart shows allegiance to our King, Jesus. For we follow His ways, His decrees form the context of our actions. Not to scurry in rote obedience, but embedded in the nuances of a listening presence unfolding mercy in the world. To say the world is not just about me, but striving to uphold the interconnectedness of all creation that our King delights in with His Father. Our allegiance to our King is declared at each mass, as Jesus our King becomes part of us, as we enter the mystery of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity with an acclamation of AMEN. Our commitment to live for His kingdom, follow His ways now and in the hope of eternity. In our finite world, the infinite reigns.
Individual Reflection:Colossians 1:12-20
Plan to help your parish celebrate National Migration Week in early January 2020:
Family Reflection:Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
Next Sunday starts Advent. How will your family make preparation for Christmas filled with more reflection, less consumption, and greater love? Watch this video before discussing your Advent plans:
Prayer: As you prepare for Advent, plan a symbolic Advent wreath, where each candle represents a theme you will embrace each week in living the season to spiritually enrich your journey and arrive at Christmas with awe like the shepherds called to herald the birth of our King.
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
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How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
Social Ministry Resources Engaging Parishes: Monthly and liturgical seasons resources for use with parish websites, bulletins and newsletters
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born November 21, 2019 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.