Solemnity of Christ the King (C)

November 20, 2022


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Photograph by Fr Lawrence Lew OP of the Second Temple Model from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Bloom Chama Chua Fallon Fleming Hawkswell Holsington
Kavanaugh Lane Langeh Lawrence McKinnon Pavone Pellegrino
Powell Schuster Senior Smiga Terra Turner Wester

Jesus, Remember Me When You Come Into Your Kingdom!

Christ the King (Year C) – 2019

Br Andrew Brookes OP reflects on our crucified King.  

The request of the dying thief, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom’ is remarkable.  Jesus is enduring one of the most shameful forms of execution devised by human beings, surrounded by a hostile and mocking crowd. For sure, Jesus has a board above his head, on which is inscribed: ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’. But the human reality beneath it shouts out that this is not true. He is being executed by the Romans, the world’s one super power, having been found guilty of blasphemy and rejected by his own Jewish people. 

Although military, politically, socially and physically Jesus is degraded and emptied of power and status, he exercises the power of Godhead, that is in fact greater than all the powers just named and any other power or force that could be named.  Jesus wages war, a kingly responsibility, intent on combatting the true enemies of humanity, the forces of sin, and Satan, and behind them, the power of death, forces that prevent us mere creatures fulfilling our God-given calling.



Our King is King of the Universe

To him be glory and power forever.

Homilies HawkswellThis Sunday, we hear how David came to be king of Israel and how the Romans executed Jesus, David’s heir, because he claimed to be “king of the Jews.”

Originally, God was Israel’s only king. However, around 1000 BC, the people begged for a human king and God agreed. The first king, Saul, disobeyed God, and God rejected him as king. The second, David, the youngest son of Jesse, who lived at Bethlehem, made Israel a nation, with Jerusalem as its capital and spiritual centre.




Following the King for the Holidays

Christ the King (Year C) – 2004

Here is where being a follower of Christ the King is important, because we believe that all the people in our lives are a part of God’s plan. 

Homilies Smiga

How do we do this?  In what way is approaching the holidays different for those who follow the king of the universe?  I want to address this question differently in my homily today. I would like to talk directly to young people.  By “young people” I mean everybody from kindergarten through college, anyone who has not yet set up their own household, whose celebration if Christmas is still directly connected to their parents’ celebration.  Although I’m going to be talking to the young people, I would encourage everyone  else to listen.  Because my hope is that what I say will relate to you as well.

Here’s what I would say to young people.  In the next few weeks you are going to be celebrating a number of special meals, long meals, meals at which you will be asked to sit at table for maybe upwards to an hour.  Some of you will have to travel to reach those meals.  Many of you will share those meals with people you do not see that often: perhaps your grandparents who come in from out of town, or an uncle or an aunt or a friend of your parents.  Some of these people that you don’t see that often might be a little strange.  Some of them might be loud and asserting, others quiet and difficult to talk to.  Some of them might keep saying to you, “Oh, how much you’ve grown.”  Perhaps others there will pretend that they know you very well although they really do not know you much at all.



Where are the Christ the King Decorations? Sales? Cards?

Christ the King (Year C) – 2019

The child we name our king at Christmas reigns from the throne of the Cross…

Homilies Concord Pastor

It won’t be long before we’ll be singing,

“Hark, the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King!”

So, where are the Christ the King decorations? Where are the Christ the King sales? Are you sending out any Christ the King cards? Probably not!

  • Of course, it could be we prefer a story of  angels and shepherds to a story of soldiers and jealous rulers.
  • Could be we prefer Mary’s birth pangs to her grieving over her crucified son.
  • Could be we prefer the baby king of Christmas to the adult king of this day’s feast.
  • Could be we prefer the promise of the Christ Child’s kingship to the adult consequences of that same promise.
  • Could be we prefer the wood of the manger to the wood of the Cross.

But whatever our preferences  —  we can’t have one without the other. The child wrapped in swaddling clothes in the poverty of the stable was being prepared to be wrapped in linen and buried in borrowed tomb.



Christ the King: Jesus, Our King

Christ the King (Year C) – 2022

We ask Christ today to help us to sacrifice as he sacrificed.


The greatest sacrifice we are called to make is the sacrifice of forgiving those who have hurt us. On the cross Jesus forgave those who conspired against Him to kill Him. He forgave the soldiers who brutalized Him. He forgave His disciples who deserted Him. He forgave us. He saw our sins, your sins and mine, and embraced the cross to restore grace, not just for the world in general, but for you and me. It is harder to say “You are forgiven” than it is to say, “I am sorry.” But that is the way of the King on the cross forgiving the criminal, the mockers, His executioners, forgiving us. Forgiveness is the way of the Kingdom.



Where God is Honored, Not Man

Christ the King (Year C) – 2019

If we wish to weather the storm, we must “bend the knee” to the King of Kings. We must renew our devotion.  


Many reject the kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ because it seems outdated and alien. We live in a democratic age, and democracy, for all of its strengths, can also make people deaf to the language of faith. Alexis de Tocqueville, the famous French political historian, described the difference between democratic man, and all of human history before the democratic age, as the difference between “two distinct humanities.” Democratic man instinctively distrusts any form of inequality, privilege or hierarchy. All legitimacy in a democracy flows from the sovereign individual and the state he helps create. But the Church makes a very different claim. The Church humbly recognises that her authority, indeed her very existence, flows not from human machinations and projects but mystically from the very side of our Crucified and Risen Lord, who reigns supreme from the throne of His cross.



Jesus Christ is King of the Universe

Christ the King (Year C)

He is “King” because he is at the very heart of all that is, including the supreme gift of human life

In the passage we read today from Colossians 1, Paul is actually commenting on the first words of the Bible, “In the beginning, God created.” He is outlining various nuances of the words “in the beginning,” indicating that that “beginning” is none other than Jesus Christ. He is “the beginning”  because he is firstborn of creation, the one through whom all else was made, the one who existed first, the one in whom all things hold together, and so forth.

That is why the Church is pro-life. That is why followers of Christ cannot find anything in creation that does not deserve a measure of reverence. It all came through Christ and all exists for Christ. To stand with Christ is to stand with life. He is “King” because he is at the very heart of all that is, including the supreme gift of human life, owned only by him, and deserving of unspeakable respect.



Christ’s Kingdom

Christ the King (Year C) – 2016

We just can’t talk about Christ as King without talking about his Kingdom as well. 

His Kingdom is not something we just await at the end of the world; it’s already there though yet to be fulfilled. It’s present because Jesus has sown the grains of the Kingdom which are germinating, growing and even bearing fruit through the lives of those who have welcomed his message. That’s why we pray, your Kingdom come. It’s not that we just want to open our hands and have it descend on us, rather, we commit ourselves to making and transforming our neighbourhood into signs of the Kingdom, made visible through acts of charity and of humanity.



Christ’s Kingdom is Universal

Christ the King (Year C) – 2016

We must never lose sight of what is promised us in belonging completely to Christ.


The most important characteristics of Jesus’ Kingdom include the notions that his Kingdom or Reign is eternal and universal, that it is true and life-giving, bestowing on believers holiness, grace, justice, love and peace. Could there be a more attractive description of the essential elements in our multi-faceted relationship with the living and eternal God?

We must never lose sight of what is promised us in belonging completely to Christ. Furthermore, our life in Christ is not reserved to some future date, but is experienced here and now, though brought to completion and perfection in the life to come. The Lord himself has told us, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

It is Christ the King who strengthens the weary, who lifts up those who are falling down or broken. Christ consoles the afflicted, cures the sick and gives food to the hungry. We have to see this help as extending beyond the material and physical, to a deeper reality, rooted in the spiritual and eternal kingdom that will never end.



Merciful King

Christ the King (Year C)

By way of parallel, our Merciful King promises to be with us, like Dismas, “in his kingdom” through our own daily passion of suffering and our compassion for others.

As the year of mercy draws to an end, we want to reflect on Christ, the merciful King. The mercy of God is mentioned more than 400 times in the Bible. The Bible is full of many episodes of the Bible, and the year of mercy helped us to explore them. Because the year of mercy is ending, it does not mean that God’s Mercy has ended. The Gospel shows us that even at the last minute, one can still benefit from the Mercy of God. Until we draw our last breath, we can still say, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom”, and we can again hear these words “Indeed, I promise you,’ he replied ‘today you will be with me in paradise”. This was a criminal crucified beside Jesus because of his crimes. He sized even the last opportunity to STEAL his entrance into the Kingdom of God. He took advantage of the mercy of Christ. This good thief’s name has been presented to us by tradition as Dismas.


Dark Forces Surrounding Us Today

Christ the King (Year C) – 2022

We place ourselves under His kingship because we believe that with His power we can establish His justice and peace among us. 

There are dark forces surrounding us in our day. Radical Islamic terrorists seek not only the elimination of the State of Israel, they hate our American culture as well. The events of September 11, 2001 clearly reveal that. Furthermore they seek to subject the whole world to the will of Allah as they interpret it in their holy book, the Koran and Sharia Law.

And we have our own internal “isms” to deal with as well – materialism, consumerism, and secularism, to name the chief ones.



This website is by Fr. Tommy Lane, S.S.L., S.T.D. (License in Sacred Scripture, Doctorate in Sacred Theology), returning again to my home diocese, Cloyne, Ireland in fall 2020 and formerly Professor of Sacred Scripture at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland. I have deliberately designed this as a website rather than a blog because many of the more than 2000 visitors to this website every day are priests and deacons looking for homily ideas.



“Don’t be afraid, dear friends, to take the ‘alternate’ path indicated by true love: a sober and solid lifestyle, with loving, sincere and pure relations, an honest commitment to studies and work, and the profound interest in the common good.” Pope Benedict XVI to the young pilgrims gathered in Loreto, Italy


The Power of Love

Christ the King (Year C)

Today’s Gospel reminds us that the only real power in our world is the power of love.

God loves us and respects us and attracts us to good, and he does so in a way that will never ever be conquered by evil. God is all-powerful – yes! – all powerful LOVE. Love continues to outwit hate in our world. Love continues to suffer through to the truth. Love continues to create life and to forgive and to nurture. Love may not hit the headlines. If it is not newsworthy, that is because it is not news – it is so ordinary and normal and all-pervasive that we are not surprised by it as we are by the news of evil. This is good, surely, so long as we do not focus so intently on the headlines that we forget to look at our lives and the lives of those around us. What a tragedy it would have been if the good thief had been so obsessed with the abuse of the system responsible for putting him on the cross that he had failed to look upon Jesus and listening to the words of love which he spoke.

SOURCE: Michael Fallon, msc

The Counter-Cultural Sovereign

Christ the King (Year C) – 1997

In Christ there is no envy, greed, or lust for power.

The distaste that some Christians have for the notion of kingship mistakes the very nature of Christ’s dominion. His is a total reversal of the roles usually assigned to royalty and servitude. He refuses to be the master of the world, the mighty monarch, the spiller of blood. His reign subverts our notion of kingship.

  • He is the king who serves the other. He is the king who dies for the other. He is the king who is ridiculed, scorned, and mocked…
  • As opposed to every other king, Christ is unguarded. He disavows the protection of armies….
  • Christ the king, utterly innocent, completely accepts the appearances of utter guilt…
  • He, the innocent king who executes none, is executed. He seeks no vengeance.


These are a fairly inclusive collection of John McKinnon’s homilies.  He began to type his Sunday homilies regularly since 2005, and saved them to his computer for possible  later use. For some Sundays, homilies are not available, either because John was absent on holidays that year, a major feast occurred on that day, or he had some other reason for not preaching. These are provided as a possible starting point in preparation for the Sunday Liturgy.



Fr. Philip N. Powell OP, PhD

What Does Kingship Look Like?

Christ the King (Year C) – 2019

When we reach out in love and service to another, we participate in the power that created the universe

When it comes to having power or prestige, I think the Gospel says something radically different than what we have been fed over and over in our culture. Having power in our culture is usually about how much money we make, how much influence we have, and how well we can serve ourselves. The Gospel says something radically different.

The Gospel says, if you want to have true power in your life, stop trying to save yourself. Start wanting to save other people instead. The Gospel says, stop trying to serve yourself. Serve other people instead.

  • An invitation could be, consider what this might mean with regard to how we treat our family members, especially as we get closer to the holidays?
  • Consider what this might mean in how I treat my co-workers or classmates at school.
  • How about as a faithful citizen in our country today? What does this look like in how I think about those who are on the peripheries of our society and the most vulnerable?

You see, my friends, every liturgical season, feast day and memorial this past year all point to Jesus who gave himself completely to us instead of serving himself. What this means is, when we reach out in love and service to another, we participate in the power that created the universe as baptized followers of Christ the King.

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Pastor Emeritus



Father Wester is pastor of All Saints Parish in St. Peters.

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