Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

November 22, 2020

Today we celebrate the Final Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. As Americans who revolted against a monarchy to establish our freedom, today’s feast reminds us that true freedom comes from serving the Way, the Truth, and the Life and striving to live Jesus in our daily lives. In today’s first reading, Ezekiel prophesizes that the leaders of Israel have failed their flock, especially the poor and the vulnerable. They have been negligent or even taken advantage of the flock for their own gain. Now, God says, I will do myself what you did not do. That means that in His care, the neglected, abused, or those who have “gone astray” will be cared for properly. In Corinth, St. Paul found some who denied the resurrection. In our reading today Paul points out that if there is no resurrection, and Christ was not raised from the dead, the Gospel message is meaningless because these deniers are still in their sins and have no hope beyond this life. The Gospel is that Christ was raised from the dead, and because of this the baptized have received life in and through Him and will be resurrected at His second coming. Christ alone will be King, the only authority, and all powers will be subject to Him. Today’s Gospel is the scene of the Last Judgment. It must be understood against the background of Jesus’ consistent teachings we hear in Matthew’s Gospel, of the difficulty of entering the “Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” We must completely reform our lives, beginning with our thoughts, our attitude, and how we interpret reality. The actions of the “sheep” represent a fundamental disposition to God that is shown in their actions on behalf of others. These members of the flock denied themselves, took up their crosses, and were disciples in name and in deed. The “goats” represent those who never did deny themselves or take up their crosses; they basically lived for themselves. As you and I ponder the sovereignty and majesty of Christ, it is an act of the will to obey and follow, to serve as He serves, to love as He loves and to give as He gives.

Please join me this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, for a Parish Family Mass at 9:00am. Let us give thanks to God who “it is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give You thanks,” for all the blessings of the past year. Despite a very challenging time in the world with Covid, we all have many blessings for which to give thanks. I invite you to also bring an item from your Turkey Day dinner to be blessed with a Thanksgiving Day blessing. It is our custom on Thanksgiving Day to remember our St. Vincent de Paul’s tireless work to help those in need. All donations of both food and money will help so much during the holidays. There are envelopes at the doors of Church for our St. Vincent de Paul Society. Please be generous.

And then comes next Sunday. We begin the holy season of Advent, the first season of a new Church (Liturgical) Year. We spend four weeks preparing our hearts to welcome the Lord in history, (Christmas), in mystery (in daily life), and in glory, (His second coming). Advent is a season of expectant hope and joy. While many will focus on Christmas only, I encourage us all to use this season of the Lord’s comings to prepare ourselves spiritually for a great year that will welcome Him into our lives and hearts with great joy and allow us in the coming year to grow ever closer to Him as faithful disciples.

Finally today, please enjoy the opportunity this coming week to be with friends and family. Let’s not let our guard down with our efforts to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. We need to be vigilant in maintaining safe distancing and not run the risk of either infecting others or becoming infected ourselves. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

God Bless! Have a great week!

Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.

Fr. Pete