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Solemnity of Christ the King (Thirty-Fourth or last Sunday of the Year) - Cycle C

En español

General Intercessions: [English PDF]
 

Celebrant: Our King comes with mercy and endless love, and this gives us confidence to present to Him all our needs. 

Deacon/Lector: 

That the Church may proclaim, celebrate, and serve the Kingdom of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth and to the end of time, we pray to the Lord... 

That Christ the King may lead all public servants to place the dignity of human life at the center of all their policies, programs, and decisions, we pray to the Lord... 

For all who teach religious instruction, that they may impart to their students the message of Christ, the image of the invisible God, with clarity and conviction, we pray to the Lord... 

For an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life, that the Kingdom of Christ may be proclaimed with joy, we pray to the Lord...

For the dying and all the deceased, that Jesus may welcome them into His Kingdom, as He welcomed the man who was crucified with Him, we pray to the Lord... 

Celebrant: 

Father, 
You have given all authority to your Son, Jesus Christ.
We acclaim Him as our King.
Through His passion and death, receive our prayers,
And grant us mercy,
For He lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Bulletin Insert:
 

In Honor of Jesus Christ, the Eternal King

Of every pond and stream that flows,
Of every rock and pebble small,
Of every river and ocean wide,
Out every mountain vast and tall,

Of every moon and star above,
Of every storm and rain and hail,
Of sleet and fog, of ice and smog,
Of summer breeze and winter gale,

Of every island in the sea,
Of every animal that walks,
Or crawls or swims or flies or rests,
Or chirps or barks or howls or squawks,

Of every place by men unknown,
Not yet discovered or explored,
Of every height and every depth,
Of sites beloved and abhorred,

Of every kingdom, empire, state,
Dominion, country, monarchy
Of village small and city great
Of men of power and majesty,

Of house and home and property,
Of kitchen and of living room,
Of bedroom, hallway, stairway long,
Of playground and of working room,

Of every act, desire, and wish,
Longing, passion, weakness, strength,
Of every heart that longs and laughs,
And cries and tries and waits at length,

Of all who suffer and who wait
For justice or for daily bread,
Of all who triumph and are glad,
Of all who middle paths do tread,

Of every woman, man and child,
Of every creature large and small,
Of every sinner, saint and angel,
Jesus Christ is King of all!

Yes He is King; yes, Christ is King!
No start or end and never failing,
His reign engulfs infinity
O'er all existing things prevailing.

Yet men are weak and often question
When many evil things they see.
Christ waits for them to realize
That He is wiser than are we.

He is aware of all that is,
He knows our problems, needs and fears,
His Providence is now at work
And Jesus’ final triumph nears.

Then let us rise in greater faith
To tell the world of His great name,
That when the King returns, we may
For lack of faith not blush with shame. Amen!

 -- Fr. Frank Pavone

Homily Suggestions:
 

2 Sm 5:1-3
Col 1:12-20
Lk 23:35-43 

Watch a video of homily hints

Jesus Christ is King of the universe. This feast reminds us that we are not only accountable to him as individuals, but also as nations, as a society. It is not only personal (as in individual) actions for which we are accountable; it is the social policy, cultural mores, and organizational structures on every level of society for which we also answer to Christ the King. These realities are the result of the accumulated effects of the actions of many people over long periods of time. Sin is always personal, but there are "structures of sin" that embody the wrong choices individuals have made. 

In this regard, of course, the Church has much to say in her social teaching, at the heart of which is the right to life and the dignity of the human person.

Human rulers exercise real authority. Yet it is always the Lord who is the King. In the first reading, we read of Saul and David. Yet in the reading, Israel declares to the Lord, "It was you who led the Israelites," and God declares that they are his people. Both the people and their king always belong to the Lord. The Gospel shows this in another way. Earthly authority made a terrible mistake in crucifying Jesus, and one of the criminals realized that mistake. Jesus shows himself to be the one with the real power, even while on the cross, as he accepts the criminal's acknowledgment that he has a kingdom, and as he asserts that he is the way into Paradise. 

Jesus' kingship is based on his identity as God, and on his redemptive act of suffering, dying and rising. It is also based on something else, which comes through clearly in the Second Reading: he is Creator. Although we normally attribute this role to the Father, it remains true that what any person of the Trinity does outside the Trinity is done by all three. 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. 


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