Sunday 20 November 2022 – A SHEPHERD LEADER – THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING

1st Reading: 2 Samuel 5:1–3

In those days, all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:  “Here we are, your bone and your flesh.  In days past, when Saul was our king, it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back.  And the Lord said to you, ‘You shall shepherd my people Israel and shall be commander of Israel.” When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron, King David made an agreement with them there before the Lord, and they anointed him king of Israel.

2nd Reading: Colossians 1:12–20

sisters:  Let us give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  He is the head of the body, the church.  He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent.  For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Gospel: Luke 23:35–43

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.” Even the soldiers jeered at him.  As they approached to offer him wine they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”  Above him there was an inscription that read,  “This is the King of the Jews.”  Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Christ?  Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?  And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

A SHEPHERD LEADER: In ordinary language, if you describe a person as the King of something, you mean that he is the most important person or he is the best at what he does. When we refer to Jesus as King of the Universe, we mean that he is the Ruler of the entire universe. God the Father has entrusted everything to Jesus.  But Jesus is more than a king. He is a leader. The goal for Jesus’ disciples is to enter heaven and live with God forever. As a leader, Jesus motivates his disciples to act towards achieving their goal. Jesus also as a shepherd supersedes this character does not only guide and protect his disciples, he lays down his life for the sake of his flock. Jesus is greater than all kings because he leads all people in the universe towards eternal life. No one can achieve eternal life without him. He is therefore king of the universe because he is the only king who can help humanity to achieve eternal life, which is the goal of all humanity.

Prayer: Jesus, king of the universe, guide all people towards your kingdom.

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CHRIST OUR LEADER: In the old days, most of the leaders of the world were kings. As a leader, the king has the role of unifying his people and protecting them from their enemies. A good king rules guided by the laws of the country, and also use force like police and the army, to maintain peace, order and security. Christ’s leadership is different. As king, Jesus Christ reigns over the minds and hearts of individuals through his teachings, which are transmitted faithfully by his church. He also reigns in the heart of individual people by his love for them. He loves people to such an extent that he wants their destiny to be with him in heaven (Luke 23:43). As king, Jesus Christ does not force anybody to do his will, but all those people who willingly live their life according to his teaching. Christ’s reign is internal and is welcomed freely. Once we welcome Christ, Christ in turn welcomes us to heaven.