Solemnity of Christ the King: Year A

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

I Confess:

I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

 

Gloria:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, Heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us; You take away the sin of the world, receive our prayer; You are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One; you alone are the Lord. You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God, the Father. Amen

 

Opening Prayer:

Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

 

First Reading: EZ 34:11-12, 15-17

Thus says the Lord God: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord God. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly. As for you, my sheep, says the Lord God, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.

 

Responsorial: PS 23:1-2, 2-3, 5-6

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

 

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose.

 

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

 

Beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.

He guides me in right paths for his name's sake.

 

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

 

You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes;

you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

 

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

 

Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life;

and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.

 

R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

 

Second Reading: 1 COR 15:20-26, 28

Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the first fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty 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 everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

 

Gospel Acclamation

R. 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: MT 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who 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 drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

 

Homily:

I would like to reflect with you on the first reading taken from the book of prophet Ezekiel as we celebrate the feast of Christ the king. There are many passages in the scripture which deals with kings and kingship which could be well suited for the celebration, but the Church gives us a reading which deals with a shepherd and sheep. It is not with our reasons. We should know that anyone who sits on the seat of power is referred and a shepherd in the biblical language. So, it fitting to call Jesus as our shepherd whose kingship we honour today.

Everyone, let me stress again everyone, who has a certain responsibility or leadership role must read and reflect on the book of Ezekiel, because it talks to them directly and personally. Everyone whether one is a politician, teacher, parent, health personnel, priests or anyone who holds the position as a head, must take guidance from these passages in his or her duty as a good leader. A good shepherd is the image of a good leader.

The first reading is taken in the context where the leaders had deserted their people entrusted to them. They were concerned only about their own gains and not the welfare of the people. They were selfish, and had neglected to care for the weak and the ordinary. In this context, where the leaders were failures and disaster the Lord says, “I myself will look after and tend my sheep.” ‘I cannot see that you so called leaders keep neglecting my own, I do not need you anymore because I myself will come down to take care of them.’

God continues to accuse, ‘you leaders supposed to keep everyone together and safe, instead you have caused division and scattered them and exposed them to dangers.’ A good leader binds and units everyone. We ask ourselves in light of this reading, I as a priest and you as head of you family or any organization; was I a cause for any kind of division in any manner? Did I ever plant seeds of discord? If that was so, the reading stares us in our face and says, you are not a good leader.

One of the prime responsibilities of being a good leader or a shepherd is to defend justice and nurse the wounded, the injured and the weak. We can interpret this as being there for those entrusted to us at the moments of their pain and loss, at the circumstances of confusion and when they felt broken down in life. Did we ever turn a blind eye to such persons? Did we do justice to everyone from our position? Did we obstruct justice to anyone? The Lord say to us again, you are not a good leader, “I myself will look after and tend my sheep.”

Jesus whose kingship we celebrate today sets a model for good leader. He has gathered us all into the household of God, He has healed us of our sins through His blood and nourished us with His very self and sanctified us. Christ exercises his kingship as a good shepherd, because his majesty, which we celebrate today, is the kingship of love and service, of giving, and of mercy. His care for his people puts the same obligation on us, as the Gospel narrates. What we do to the least, we do to him.

 

Nicene Creed:

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. 5

 

Prayers of Faithful:

For our shepherds in the church, that they may diligently look after and tend God’s sheep, bringing back the strayed, binding up the injured, healing the sick, shepherding us rightly.

 

Lord Hear Us

 

hat all sovereignties, authorities, and powers that are in opposition to God may be brought under subjection to Christ the King, that God may be all in all.

 

Lord Hear Us

That we who know in what the final judgment of God will consist may be the first to treat Christ in the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the sick, and the imprisoned with compassion and reverence.

 

Lord Hear Us

 

For or parish community who celebrate our feast: that we may continue to bear witness to Jesus the king of all kings through our words and witness.

 

Lord Hear Us

 

That those who are going through a dark valley of sickness, poverty, oppression, or grief may feel the guiding press of the divine Shepherd’s staff, leading them to restful waters and the anointing of joy and grace.

 

Lord Hear Us

 

For our faithful departed ones, that they may enjoy the peace and endless life of heaven.

 

Lord Hear Us

 

 

Let us pray in silence (pause)

 

Lord Hear Us

 

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if you were already there, and I unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

(St. Alphonsus)

 

Concluding Prayer:

Having received the food of immortality, we ask, O Lord, that, glorying in obedience to the commands of Christ, the King of the universe, we may live with him eternally in his heavenly Kingdom. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

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