Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
November 23, 2014 – Year A
Readings: Ez 34:11-12, 15-17; Psalm 23, 1 Cor 15:20-26, 28; Mt 25:31-46
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
A story is told about a young dad who was trying to teach his 5-year-old son about discipline and the virtue of self-denial. One evening, his little boy didn’t want to go to bed, and when he asked for a glass of juice, the father answered, “No sir, it’s too late for that. You’re supposed to be in bed. No more juice. I am the King of the Juice in this house.” The little boy answered, “I don’t think you are right, Daddy, because our Sunday School teacher said it’s Jesus who is the King of the Juice.”
Today we are celebrating the feast of our Lord Jesus as the King of the entire universe, which is also the last Sunday of the liturgical year. We proclaim him as king of the universe, and also king of our hearts and souls.
As we celebrate Christ the King, Holy Mother Church asks us to ask ourselves, “What kind of king is Christ?” St. Matthew the evangelist quoted Jesus as saying, “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for the many.” In all parts of the gospels, the message of Jesus is about God’s love for each and every one of us. The requirement for those who are willing to follow him is to love God and love our neighbors. It is as simple as this.
In this complicated universe, sometimes we also have a tendency to make God’s teaching more complex and more complicated than it really is. We have just heard in the proclamation of today’s gospel that it’s pretty simple and straightforward.
It has been said that evil seems to triumph not because there are more bad people than good people, but because those good people are not doing anything. Time and again, Holy Mother Church reminds us that every time we make an examination of conscience, we not only recall the actions we have made that are sinful, but also forgiveness for the things we have failed to do.
More importantly, as Gods children, we should ask if we see Christ, if we see Jesus in every human being we meet every day of our lives. This will be our Lord’s question when we eventually face him as our judge.
There once lived an Irish king who had no children to succeed him on the throne. So he decided to choose his successor from among his people in the kingdom. The only condition set by this king was that the candidate must have a deep love for God and neighbor. In a remote village of the kingdom lived a poor and gentle youth who was noted for his kindness and helpfulness to all his neighbors. So the villagers encouraged him to enter the contest for kingship. They took a collection for him so he could make the long journey to the royal palace. After giving him the necessary food and a good overcoat, they sent him on his way.
As the young man approached the castle, he noticed a beggar in the royal park wearing torn clothes, and he was shivering in the cold as he asked for food. Moved with compassion, the young man gave the beggar his new overcoat and the food he had saved for his return journey.
After waiting a long time in the parlor of the royal palace, the youth was finally admitted for an interview with the king. As he raised his eyes after prostrating himself in front of the king, he was amazed to find that the king was wearing the overcoat that he had given the beggar at the park. The king proclaimed him as the new king of the country.
Today’s gospel reminds us that when he comes in glory, Christ the King is going to judge us on the basis of our love. May he say to us, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared by you before the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger; you welcomed me. Naked and you clothed me. Imprisoned and you visited me. For I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”