Solemnity of Christ the King (C)

November 20, 2022

INTRODUCTIONLECTORSHOMILIESVIDEO ARCHIVECOMMENTARYCHURCH FATHERSECUMENICAL RESOURCESPAPAL HOMILIESANECDOTESFAITH SHARINGCHILDREN ACTIVITIESMUSIC

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Y MAGAZINE (4:48) – Nineteenth-century sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen reimagined contemporary depictions of the Savior with his Christus statue for Copenhagen’s Church of Our Lady. Instead of Christ upon the cross, Thorvaldsen sculpted the risen Lord with outstretched, welcoming arms.

Thorvaldsen’s Christus

A wonderful statue of Jesus the Christ exists in the cathedral of Denmark’s fairy-tale city of Copenhagen. The sculptor was the master Albert Bertel Thorvaldsen who died in 1844. He chose to sculpt a monumental Christ, the Christus, that would reveal Him in all His majesty. His hands would be raised as befitted His awesome power. His face would look out regally on everyone and everything. He would indeed be the King of kings, the Man in total control. It was done. “Jesus is the greatest figure in human history,” the sculptor said when the clay model was finished, “and this statue will so represent Him.”

However, a funny thing happened on the way to the unveiling. The statue was left in a shed near the water. The dampness had its way with the clay Christ statue. The upraised hands had drooped. They no longer commanded. Rather, they beseeched. The fiercely upturned face had lowered itself onto the Master’s chest.

The person who wore this face had known many problems and was compassion itself. This was no longer a King before whom one would grovel and stutter, “Your Royal Majesty.” Rather, it was a Shepherd solicitous for every one of His sheep.

At first, Thorvaldsen was bitterly disappointed by the accident. Then he realized after reflection that this was a more accurate Jesus than the one he had originally conceived. Indeed, it might have been providentially planned. So, he left it undisturbed. His original intention had been to inscribe the dictum “FOLLOW MY COMMANDS” on the base of the statue. But now he realized that was no longer appropriate. Instead he chiseled the softer message “COME UNTO ME.”

To this day, this benign Nazarene touches the hearts and spirits of those who enter the Copenhagen cathedral. It is reported that often Thorvaldsen’s masterpiece reduces spectators to tears. In most probability, it has more of a genuine effect on them than his majestic Christ ever would have. The statue reminds them of His famous words to a puzzled Pontius Pilate in today’s Gospel, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (Father James Gilhooley).

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homily’s

Christ the King (Year C)

Christ Has Conquered;
Christ Now Rules

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ROME REPORTS (2:29) – Rome has more obelisks than any other city in the world. There are thirteen of these tall monuments that help make up the history of ancient Rome. One of the most well known, stands in the middle of St. Peter’s Square, measuring 82 feet tall and weighing 320 tons.

In the middle of St Peter’s square in Rome, there stands a great obelisk. It about four and half thousand years old, and it originally stood in the temple of the sun in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis. But it was bought to Rome by the dreadful Emperor Caligula and it was set right in the middle of Circus of Nero, equally dreadful, that was on the Vatican hill. It was in that Circus that St Peter was martyred, and the obelisk may well have been the last thing on this Earth that Peter saw. On top of the obelisk there now stands a cross. In ancient times there was a gold ball representing, of course, the sun. Now there is a cross — the cross of Christ, and on the pedestal of the obelisk there are two inscriptions. The first of them in Latin, “Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat”, which translated means, Christ has conquered, Christ now rules, Christ now reigns supreme. The other inscription says “The Lion of Judah has conquered.” —

So here we have the language of victory. Christianity has triumphed by the power of the cross and triumphed even over even the greatest power that the ancient world had known, the Roman Empire, and here in the middle of St Peter’s square stands the obelisk bearing those triumphant inscriptions. (Mark Coleridge Archbishop of Brisbane)

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homily’s

Christ the King (Year C)

“Long Live Christ the King!”

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DAVID RAMOS (3:48) – La Guerra Cristera (también conocida como Guerra de los Cristeros o Cristiada) en México fue un conflicto armado que se prolongó desde 1926 a 1929 entre el gobierno de Plutarco Elías Calles y milicias de laicos, presbíteros y religiosos católicos que resistían la aplicación de legislación y políticas públicas anticlericales orientadas a restringir la autonomía de la Iglesia católica.

In the 1920s, a totalitarian regime gained control of Mexico and tried to suppress the Church. To resist the regime, many Christians took up the cry, “Viva Cristo Rey!” (“Long live Christ the King!”) They called themselves “Cristeros.” The most famous Cristero was a young Jesuit priest named Padre Miguel Pro. Using various disguises, Padre Pro ministered to the people of Mexico City. Finally, the government arrested him and sentenced him to public execution on November 23, 1927. The president of Mexico (Plutarco Calles) thought that Padre Pro would beg for mercy, so he invited the press to the execution. Padre Pro did not plead for his life, but instead knelt holding a crucifix. When he finished his prayer, he kissed the crucifix and stood up. Holding the crucifix in his right hand, he extended his arms and shouted, “Viva Cristo Rey!” (“Long live Christ the King!”) At that moment the soldiers fired. (Fr. Phil Bloom).

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homily’s

Christ the King (Year C)

A Man for All Seasons

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MOVIECLIPS (2:37) – A Man for All Seasons – King Henry the VIII: Thomas More (Paul Scofield) discusses the merit of divorce with his King (Robert Shaw).

There is a great scene in the play, A Man for All Seasons, that fits very well with today’s Feast of Christ the King.

You might remember that the play was about the determination of St. Thomas More to stand for the Faith against the persuasion and eventually the persecution of Henry VIII of England.

In the scene I’m referring to, in Henry VIII , in 1527, is trying to coax his second-in-power Thomas More, to agree with him that it is proper for him, the King, to divorce his wife Catherine on the grounds that she was also his sister-in-law (a marriage impediment for which the King, before the marriage, had requested and received , in January 1505), a Papal Dispensation, from  then-reigning  Pope Julius II!) The King’s real reason was that his wife, Catherine of Aragon, had not given birth to a male heir to the Kingdom.

After the King made all his arguments, Thomas More said that he himself was unfit to meddle in this argument and the King should take it to Rome.  Henry VIII retorted that he didn’t need a Pope to tell him what he could or couldn’t do.

Then we come to the center point.  Thomas More asked the King, “Why do you need my support?”

Henry VIII replied with words we would all love to hear said about each of us, “Because, Thomas, you are honest.  And what is more to the point, you are known to be honest.  There are plenty in the Kingdom who support me, but some do so only out of fear and others only out of what they can get for their support.  But you are different.  And people know it.  That is why I need your support.”

In the presence of integrity, Henry VIII knew who was King and who was subject.

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homily’s

Christ the King (Year C)

Tolstoy’s “Martin the Cobbler”

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(3:27) – The Old Shoemaker

Leo Tolstoy’s story “Martin the Cobbler” tells of a lonely shoemaker who is promised a visit by our Lord that very day. Eagerly all day he awaits his arrival. But all that come are a man in need of shoes, a young mother in need of food and shelter, and a child in need of a friend. Each of these Martin serves willingly. The  cobbler ends the day thinking “Perhaps tomorrow he will come,” only to hear a voice reply, “I did come to you today, Martin; not once, but three times.”

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homily’s

Jokes of the Week

At the end of Mass, some priests like to offer a joke to their parishioners. Please be sensitive though to particular circumstances or concerns. Some Jokes may not be suitable for particular times, places, or congregations. 

#1: Christ is in charge: Susan C. Kimber, in a book called Christian Woman, shares a funny piece of advice she received from her little son: “Tired of struggling with my strong-willed little son, Thomas, I looked him in the eye and asked a question I felt sure would bring him in line: ‘Thomas, who is in charge here?’  Not missing a beat, he replied, ‘Jesus is, and not you mom.’ ”

#2: Co-pilot Christ the king: Many people love bumper sticker theology.  Bumper stickers may not always have the soundest theological statements, but they generally at least have the ability to make you think.  One such, “God is my Co-pilot,” has also been found on Church signs, where the theology is just as much fun and sometimes sounder.  In this case, the Church sign says, “If Christ the King is your Co-Pilot, change seats.”

# 3: “Right near the end!” Once a priest was giving a homily and as he went on, he became more animated. He made a sweeping gesture – and accidentally knocked his papers from the pulpit. He scrambled to pick them up, then asked, “Now, where was I?” A voice from the congregation responded, “Right near the end!” Well, we are at the end – not of the homily, but of the liturgical year

# 4: The most famous man who ever livedOne day a kindergarten teacher nun said to the class of 5-year-olds, “I’ll give $2 to the child who can tell me who was the most famous man who ever lived.” An Irish boy put his hand up and said, “It was St. Patrick. “The teacher said, “Sorry Sean, that’s not correct.” Then a Scottish boy put his hand up and said, “It was St. Andrew.” The teacher replied, “I’m sorry, Hamish, that’s not right either. “Finally, a Jewish boy raised his hand and said, “It was Jesus Christ.” The teacher said, “That’s absolutely right, Marvin, come up here and I’ll give you the $2.” As the teacher was giving Marvin his money, she said, “You know Marvin, you being Jewish, I was very surprised you said Jesus Christ.” Marvin replied, “Yeah. In my heart I knew it was Moses, but business is business…”

SOURCE: Fr. Tony’s Homily’s

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