Daily Catholic Readings – November 26, 2023
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, The King of The Universe
34th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings of the Day
|Reading 1||Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17|
|Response||The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.|
|Reading 2||1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28|
|Gospel||Matthew 25:31-46|Readings 1
Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16 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, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice. 17 “As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats.
Psalm 23:1-2a, 2b-3, 5, 6 (R. 1)
R/. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose. R/.
Near restful waters he leads me;
he revives my soul.
He guides me along the right path,
for the sake of his name. R/.
You have prepared a table before me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing. R/.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for length of days unending. R/.
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
Mark 11:9b, 10a
V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia
V/. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 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. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Central Point: Christ is the king of the universe. But it is not in terms of power and subjugation. Rather it is in terms of love and animation
1. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King with great joy and honour. This Sunday marks the last Sunday of the ordinary liturgical year as we will step into the holy season of Advent next Sunday. This placement at the end of the ordinary year can indicate something significant: our whole life with all its ordinariness culminates in the kingship of Christ. We find our end and fulfillment under the reign of Christ. Our entire life must be geared and oriented toward Christ the Lord.
2. The concepts of king, kingship, and kingdom are not strange to us. History has seen a great many kings and kingdoms, both benevolent and malevolent, both just and unjust, righteous and wicked, promotive and destructive. But when we say and celebrate Christ as King, there is an enormous difference.
3. One obvious and explicit difference is he is a king with no demarcated territory of the kingdom. There are no boundaries. There are no disparities or inequalities. It is a boundless, boundaryless kingdom. It is a way of life. It is open to all and embraces all. There is equity and justice. There is no hierarchy of higher or lower, no scope for subjugation and suppression. There is no division or discrimination. There is no partiality or favouritism.
4. There is no aggression or violence. There is no death and destruction. There is no falsity or deception. There is no manipulation and corruption. There is no ruthless seeking power and popularity. Rightly, he is a king of hearts. He is the king of souls. He is the king of communities and families. He is a spiritual king.
5. Thus his kingdom is not a location or domain. It is a reign and ambience of love, justice, mercy, joy, and peace. It is a reign of truth and authenticity, loyalty and commitment. It is where one readily makes himself “the first to become the last and the servant”. It is the divine reign where one “serves and not craves to be served”. It is where one loves selflessly even to the extent of “dying for the other”. It is where one seeks relentlessly the will of God. It is where one can affirm courageously, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let everything happen according to your holy word and will”.
6. In sum, Christ is king when and where he reigns with his virtues and values. Where there is love and not hatred, peace and not violence, reconciliation and not retaliation, forgiveness and not grudge, altruism and not egoism, truth and not duplicity, humility and not arrogance, unity and parity and not division and discrimination, magnanimity and not malice, generosity and not jealousy, purity and not pollution – there and then is Christ the king, his kingship and kingdom.
7. Today, many followers of this unparalleled and unique king sadly “profane” and “secularize” their king because they themselves are such, stung by high profanity and mundanity. They forget that they are citizens of a spiritual kingdom and not a temporal one. They forget that it is a spiritual reign and not a material domain or gain. They forget the very fact that they are only members and subjects and not the king or master themselves. They ignore the very pillars of this kingdom and build petty kingdoms with worldly pillars and ingredients.
Suggestion: Time is ripe now to demolish all the false kingdoms based on money, manipulation, deception, corrupt power and lording authority, discrimination, aggression, malice, and destruction. Let our prayer be sincere: “Let your kingdom come!”