Solemnity of Christ the King (C)

November 20, 2022


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1st Reading Lector Tips

Click on image to view/listen to lector – The Sunday Mass

2 SAMUEL 5:1-3

First Reading – Lector Tips

courtesy of Paul J. Schlachter, Greg Warnusz and Lisa Bellaci

This describes the choosing of Israel’s second king, the great David. His successful 40-year reign became the model for the hoped-for Messiah (that is, anointed one) in later Judaism. – Warnusz

Central point: This is occurring in the context of covenant.  The people are approving and completing God’s apparent choice for them.

Message for the assembly: The title seeks the man.  They came to him.  We may come forward, but it is the people who voice their approval and accept us.

Lector’s Challenge: To read this ancient story with God’s covenant in mind, and with an expansive sense of a very large and joyous assembly.

53 seconds

In those days, all the tribes of Israel

  • The people are choosing a commander of their army (who thus becomes king).  Although the tone is solemn,  imagine a celebration taking place during a party nominating convention.  The tone should be that of a court historian who is building up support for David.
  • As we celebrate, reflect on the cautionary words of I Samuel 8, about the abuses committed by kings and absolute (unitary) rulers in general.

Your bone and your flesh

  • “Bone and flesh” signify the close unity of the tribes of Israel as well as David’s close connection to his people,
  • It is a choice by acclamation. Rehearse this until you can convey that sense of everyone’s approving

15 seconds

When SAUL was our king

Make sure you emphasize the word KING whenever it appears, but also stress the role of the Lord in all this. Otherwise this should be a straightforward piece of narrative, delivered simply and directly. – Salford Diocese, UK

It was YOU who led the Israelites… 

  • The reason why David is chosen
  • When you read this and the following sentence, you’re repeating words of desperate people imploring someone to take on a great responsibility. Sound persuasive! – Warnusz

15 seconds

You shall shepherd

24 seconds

When all the elders… came to David

  • There seem to be two separate meetings, first to make the proposal and then to bestow the title.
  • Pause between the two assemblies, clarifying in that way the differing roles of the people and their elders.

before the Lord

  • The reading is describing a sacramental ceremony.  Why is God present?  Israel is where God is supreme and where this people of the one God becomes God’s own people.

They anointed him
KING of Israel

  • Say the final sentence with finality, “and they anointed him [pause] King of Israel.”- Warnusz
2nd Reading Lector Tips

Click on image to view/listen to lector – The Sunday Mass


Second Reading – Lector Tips

courtesy of Paul J. Schlachter, Greg Warnusz and Lisa Bellaci

Some ancient peoples believed in complex hierarchies of angels, demigods and other spirits, mediating between humanity and God. Paul, without saying whether these exist or not, asserts that Christ is superior to them all. – Warnusz

Central point: All things were created through him and for him.

Message for the assembly: If we hold this seriously we will not have divided hearts.  Let us be astonished at the inheritance prepared for us! 

Lector’s Challenge:  To celebrate with all the churches of the world this song of universal praise.


  • Part 1 presents an act of gratitude, in which we recognize our inheritance of the holy ones in light.
  • Part 2 repeats the cosmic hymn we heard back in the summer.  All is under Christ, subject to Christ, dependent on Christ, responding to Christ, understood and evaluated on his terms.

10 seconds

Brothers and sisters…

12 seconds

Let us give thanks…made you fit to share in the inheritance

60 seconds

He delivered us from the power of darkness, and has TRANSFERED us

  • This often depicted in films as something alien to our way of life, though in fact it is rooted in that very life.
  • We are moved to a higher level of awareness, a state of life to which we are all called.

redemption, the forgiveness of sins

  • Emphasize the gift of “redemption, the forgiveness of our sins,” in verse 14, because it ties this reading to a theme in the day’s gospel. – Warnusz




22 seconds

He is…

  • Deliver this piece as a polemic. Your listeners probably won’t know the context, but they should know that Paul and you are emphatic and uncompromising about Christ’s place in the universe.  – Warnusz
  • Here in paraphrase are Paul’s assertions about Christ:
    • Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
    • He precedes any other creatures, and all else was created through him.
    • Even the thrones, dominations, principalities & powers were created for Christ
    • Things continue to exist through him alone.
    • He alone heads the church.
    • He is the first to enjoy resurrection from the dead.
    • God gives Christ “absolute fullness.”
    • All this is not to be divorced from Christ’s crucifixion, which reconciles everything earthly and heavenly.  – Warnusz

20 seconds

all things

  • this phrase is repeated SIX times in the reading

thrones, dominions, principalities and powers.

  • none of them should come between us and Christ.
  • Paul, neither affirming nor denying the existence of these “thrones, dominations, principalities or powers” simply states that Christ is superior to the whole lot. He’ll reiterate this throughout the letter, and explain how our salvation comes through Christ alone. But today’s passage is only about the superiority of the person of Christ.  – Warnusz


He is the head of the body, the church.

  • You don’t need any angels, Paul would say (nor do you need an earthly king, says the Church by her choice of readings today (although a few church leaders still seem to prefer royal governments to republics and democracies)). You need a divine-human partner in the struggle to know God and be faithful in a hostile world. Get Christ. – Warnusz

holding all things together, reconciling all things, making peace.

  • Here Jesus is not another warlord, bloodthirsty for personal gain.  He is the man for others

image of the invisible God, before all things, head of the body, the beginning, the firstborn.

  • Find a poetic voice to honor Christ in all these exalted titles
  • And the source of all this: the blood of his cross in the same clear declaiming voice.

From Word to Eucharist

We are coming to the end of the church year.  Let us approach one another as we approach the table of the Eucharist, without our possessions or our pretensions, in an unbroken and simple line.

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