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Thursday, 18 November 2021 13:24

Celebrating At Home - Solemnity of Christ The King

A royal shepherd

On this last Sunday of the Church’s year we always celebrate the Feast of Christ, the Universal King.

The first reading from the prophet, Daniel, speaks of the coming of one who will rule in the name of God in an eternal kingdom. The second reading from the Book of the Apocalypse speaks of Christ as the ‘faithful witness’ to God and ‘ruler of the kings of the earth’. Here is a king who loves his people and sheds his own blood to save them.

The Gospel comes from the Passion of Jesus in St John’s Gospel. It is Jesus’ dialogue with Pilate about his kingship and the nature of his kingdom.

Jesus is anything but a traditional king. This King reigns, not from a golden throne, but a cross of rough wood; naked, with no rich, flowing robes; no bejewelled crown, just thorns; no orb and sceptre, just nails in his hands.

He comes among his people, not as a tyrant wielding weapons of suffering and death, but as a powerless baby.

Jesus says that his kingdom is ‘not of this world’. It is not a kingdom with geographical and national boundaries. It is not a kingdom in the earthly sense where power and oppression reign, but a kingdom where justice, love, mercy, truth and peace reign.

At the end of the day, the disciple is called to be the Kingdom (the living presence) of God in the world and to transform the suffering of its people into joy by deeds of loving kindness.

Virtuous disciples are the living presence of Jesus in the world. They realise that until Jesus comes again, the kingdom has been entrusted into their hands.

In the Kingdom of Jesus, the disciple is not master but ‘servant’.

The power of the spirit of Jesus fuels deeds of loving kindness – reversing horrible human conditions, and bringing healing and salvation.

Whenever we act like Christ the Kingdom of God (the reign of God’s grace) breaks into our world.

Whenever we are moved by the Spirit to proclaim the truth, to respond to need, to work for justice, to transform and heal our society, the Kingdom of God breaks into human reality and the grace of God becomes clearly visible in our words and actions.

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Celebrating at Home is a Liturgy of the Word centred around the Gospel reading for each Sunday. It includes a reflection on the Gospel and prayers.

It can be used personally or with your family. Parts for all to pray are given in bold print and all the other parts can be shared among those present.

We hope that Celebrating at Home will be a source of nourishment and strength for all who use it.

In the room you decide to use for this prayer you could have a lighted candle, a crucifix and the Bible. These symbols help keep us mindful of the sacredness of our time of prayer and can help us feel connected with our local worshipping communities.

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