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Christ the King. Solemnity. The last Sunday in Year B, 2012, Helpful hints in Reading the Scriptures for the Sunday, Deep Sea Diving into The Word of God, a realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh, Family Prayer around God’s Word, and a Blessing from the Iona Abbey Sacramentary. Number 96

21 Nov

 

 

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THE WRITTEN STYLE OF THE REALHOMILIE

It is my aim that I present the Homily to you in a way that you might hear me speaking.

I do not follow the strict  rules of written prose as such; I use the techniques of oratory shared with me

in many Mission Sermons, and Mission Instructions by tried and true Mission Fathers,

from whom I am privileged to

have been formed in that great tradition.

St.Paul of the Cross. Pray for us. 

(LAST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME)

Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 in response to the rise of totalitarianism.  It celebrates Christ’s reign over the human race and human hearts.  The feast emphasises God’s ultimate forgiveness as well as Christ’s eschatological return and final sovereignty over all creation.  This last theme is continued during Advent.

THE LITURGY OF THE WORD.

Helpful hints

It is very important for us to read God’s Word slowly and reflectively. We are not reading it just to get information or answer questions; we must enable God’s Word to enter us just like liquid polish enters timber that is thirsty for nutrition. A good rule of thumb is to have a question like this in our mind……”Lord, what are you saying to ME in your Word today? Secondly, how can my life be changed, in order to allow God’s Word to find a Home in my being? Finally, as for special Feasts, Advent and Lent, the three Readings are in a sequence which has an underlying thread running through them. In Ordinary time, the First Reading, and the Gospel are bridged…so we generally look for the link. The Second Reading is continuous, and follows on to the next Sunday.

First Reading: Daniel 7:13-14

I gazed into the visions of the night.

And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven,

one like a son of man.

He came to the one of great age

and was led into his presence.

On him was conferred sovereignty,

glory and kingship,

and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.

His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty

which shall never pass away,

nor will his empire be destroyed.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

(Let’s PAUSE and reflect upon this reading, and let us ask ourselves the two questions stated above. That is our PERSONAL response to the Word. This might take a few minutes, try not to rush it. The Psalm and Antiphon is the COMMUNITY response to God’s Word, a bit like a short and sweet Text Message)

Psalm: Ps 92:1-2. 5

R. The Lord is king;

he is robed in majesty.

The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed;

the Lord has robed himself with might,

he has girded himself with power. R.

The world you made firm, not to be moved;

your throne has stood firm from of old.

From all eternity, O Lord, you are. R.

Truly your decrees are to be trusted.

Holiness is fitting to your house,

O Lord, until the end of time. R.

Second Reading: Revelation 1:5-8

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth. He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood, and made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God and Father; to him, then, be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. It is he who is coming on the clouds; everyone will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the races of the earth will mourn over him. This is the truth. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’ says the Lord God, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Let’s PAUSE again after this Reading, and reflect on it like you did after the first Reading. The Community Acclamation follows and should be sung: e.g. ALLELUIA, or PRAISE TO YOU LORD JESUS CHRIST KING OF ENDLESS GLORY. When we are present at our Sunday Eucharistic Celebration, the Alleluia or Praise be to you…should always be sung. Why? It’s a bit like singing Happy Birthday!   We never say it…  🙂

Gospel: John 18:33-37

Are you the king of the Jews?’ Pilate asked. Jesus replied, ‘Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?’ Jesus replied, ‘Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.’ ‘So you are a king then?’ said Pilate. ‘It is you who say it’ answered Jesus. ‘Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.’ The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflection time again……. Can you see and hear the links, connecting the First Reading, the Second Reading  and the Gospel? After that, we are then ready for what is to follow…..

DEEP SEA DIVING INTO THE SCRIPTURES

 

If you have ever opened your eyes under water, or used a snorkel and face mask, or had the opportunity to use an aqualung, it is a very different world to explore isn’t it? I love snorkelling, and it is though the fish welcome you into their world. However, they need to be treated with respect, and one must be aware of ‘no-go’ zones especially where sharks are known to call that place, ‘home’ especially at meal times. So, this next section is going down into the Scriptures, which opens the pathway for us to be curious about The Word, and it will also develop an appetite in us to do this more often.

                                                              Focusing the word

                                                                                      Key words and phrases

Are you the king of the Jews?

Mine is not a kingdom of this world.

Yes, I am a king.

His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away.

The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.

He has made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God.

to the point

The liturgical year culminates with a summary statement of the identity of Jesus – ’Christ the King.’ As Christ, he is worthy of our worship. As King he is deserving of our service. As we celebrate this enthronement of Christ in glory (compare first reading) we also look forward to his victory in us when we are ‘freed . . . from our sins’ and ‘made . . . into a kingdom’ (second reading).

                                                              Connecting the Word

                                                                                         to Advent

We begin a new liturgical year next Sunday where we end the past liturgical year this Sunday: with the victorious Christ. Christ is ‘the Alpha and the Omega,’ (second reading), the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

to our experience

So often our responses to people are based on how we perceive them: teachers, we learn; leaders, we follow; heroes, we emulate. Making an identity statement about him – Christ the King – informs our response to him.

                                             Understanding the Word

                                                                                 Daniel and the son of man

In his visions Daniel ‘saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven.’ Though the ‘son of man’ usually refers to ‘a human being’ (Job 25:6; Isa 56:2; Ezek 2:1), here he is clearly a heavenly being (‘coming on the clouds of heaven’). His appearance in human form is in striking contrast to four terrifying beasts (a grotesque lion, bear, leopard, and the fourth beast, unspeakably horrible) which represent successive kingdoms on earth. Each kingdom inflicts terrible harm on God’s holy ones. Then ‘the Ancient One’ appears and takes his throne: ‘his clothing was snow bright, and the hair on his head as white as wool; His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire’ (7:9). His mere appearance destroys the fourth beast and deprives the others of their dominion. Then, this mysterious ‘son of man’ receives royal powers: ‘dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him’ (7:14).

As this title is used in New Testament writings, the ‘Son of Man’ sometimes refers to Daniel’s heavenly figure and is associated with the end times. He functions as God’s proxy, exercising royal and judicial functions by establishing a just rule and executing judgment on both the righteous and the wicked. The royal aspects of this title are highlighted by this solemnity: in addition to the specific language in Daniel (‘dominion’, ‘kingship’), Pilate’s interrogation of Jesus in John’s gospel concerns the kind of kingship Jesus exercises.

But this is not the whole story. The ‘Son of Man,’ in addition to the meanings described above (a human being, a royal figure of the end times), also refers to the suffering messiah. As we have seen (Sunday 25), the title ‘Son of Man’ is how Jesus refers to himself in his three passion predictions: it is associated with his suffering and death. Thus, even as we celebrate the dominion, glory, and kingship of Christ, it must never be forgotten that he is a King who reigns from a cross and whose crown is made of thorns.

A realhomilie from Fr.Kevin Walsh

THE WRITTEN STYLE OF THE REALHOMILIE

It is my aim that I present the Homily to you in a way that you might hear me speaking.

I do not follow the strict  rules of written prose as such; I use the techniques of oratory shared with me

in many Mission Sermons, and Mission Instructions by tried and true Mission Fathers,

from whom I am privileged to

have been formed in that great tradition.

St.Paul of the Cross. Pray for us.

Dear One and All,

We come to the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year, and I guess that our celebration of Christ the King may cause us to think,” fair enough, but the year is not over yet!” End of year celebrations are all around us….for some, School exams are over, for others University exams have been marked, and for others, Office Christmas parties, and the like, will happen soon.  Yet, in the midst of all this, we hear the resounding words of Jesus, (John 18:36) “Mine is not a Kingdom of this world”.  And most certainly it is a Kingdom contrary to what our concept of a realm or Monarchy can be about. The modern Kingdom is often experienced as a reign of terror; and hence its rulers build huge images of themselves as signs of their power. We saw something like this in Iraq with Sudam Hussein, and Kaddafi in Libya.

You might remember that when communism collapsed in Eastern Europe, many of the statues of their rulers were pulled down and smashed! At the time when this was happening, TIME MAGAZINE published a small but touching picture.  The picture was taken in the Ukraine.  It showed a group of ordinary people gathered in prayer around a simple altar in a public place.  Standing on the altar was a small bust of Christ.  This little picture said it all.  After the false Kings had been toppled, Christ had been put back in His rightful place.

Tyrannical Kings demand and command; they often rule through fear. Christ our King invites! He rules through love.  Throughout the photographic album of the Gospels, we see the Shepherd-King, bringing hope to those who lived in despair and alienation, enabling the pagans and Jews to see in him, the saving hand of God.  Remember the Roman Centurion soldier standing at the foot of the Cross-, seeing the way Jesus died; he was able to say, “In truth this was a son of God”. (Matt 27:54)  Christ’s presence could change beyond recognition the lives of those around him. His attitude towards sinners was one of kindness and persuasion rather than condemnation and alienation.  There can be great persons who make everybody feel small….but the really great person makes everybody feel great.  In that sense, Jesus was indeed a King!  We are called to see Christ in each other, and be Christ to each other. What a fantastic Kingdom!  Now, let’s revisit the Scripture Readings for this Sunday, and then the full picture will be painted for us.

The Prophet Daniel’s dream catches our attention…the elements in this vision have caught Artists, Movie Makers and literal minded Preachers to colour up this Heavenly vision, so much so that it can distort the intention and inherent meaning for the listeners. So what are Dreams, what are they trying to tell us? We all have had dreams, and I bet from time to time you have said to other members of your family, ‘I had a strange dream last night…..and then immediately you go on to tell them about it….’ Sometimes in the telling of the Dream to others, some clues come into focus. Other times, they can be so random that it can be a very difficult process. Well, in a nut shell, it seems that dreams are a way of processing the parables within our daily lives. For example, something might happen to you out of the ‘blue’ as we say, and we might even spontaneously tell those around us that you will probably dream about that experience or issue. At this stage it won’t be within my scope of expertise to talk with any authority on ‘Nightmares….’  So, Dreams are a way of processing the parables of our daily life! Following that through, the elements in dreams are often symbolic, but they bring to the unconsciousness within our ‘sleep time’ often very vivid pictures, so much so that in the morning, we often wonder if this or that did really happen?

So, in looking at Daniel’s dream, he starts off by saying…….’I gazed….’ let’s stay with that; gazing has Biblical connotations; simply put, it means: – Meditating….in this context having God’s Word and design as Food for Thought. Meditating is like Savouring a Fry’s Turkish Delight 98% Fat Free!!!!!!Daniel’s own name adds to the import of this dream, because his name in Hebrew means ….God Judges! So it would seem that the an approximate outcome of this dream, is saying something about God as Judge, as Supreme Initiator of a Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven!  Meditating is like savouring honey from the comb! This wonderful experience is done slowly……so that it can be thoroughly tasted! God’s Word in Scripture is sometimes seen as food to be eaten. The next part of the process is: – Contemplating…….that happens within a creative silence which abounds within the experience, due to the Meditation….. So it is gazing within the dream or vision. So, Daniel gazes into the Nada…the nothingness, the night, and look what he sees?  In typical Apocalyptic Literary Style, we see as Daniel sees, an anointed one being led to the One of great Age……he who is the personification of wisdom, creative love, mercy, and justice, sees in the one being led to him, a reflection of God’s true self! Then as a consequence, all peoples will recognise in him, who is like unto God, all that God has ever said, done and will do. This dream is an excellent vision of hope! God’s Servant-hood Kingdom will one day reign supreme! Hence, it is an evergreen Prophecy.

The Second Reading from the Book of Revelation is connected to the first reading and Gospel of this Sunday, because it is a Solemnity. On the Ordinary Sundays of the Year, the First Reading and Gospel are bridged, but the Second Reading is a continuous reading of New Testament Letter week by week, and generally it has no intended relation to the First Reading or Gospel.

The Author of the Book of Revelation….one named John, seeing in Jesus, the Christ, all and more than the Prophet Daniel was looking forwarded to; John sees,  The Wounded Healer, the Keystone, the Shepherd, the Light of the World, the Bread of Life, the Son of God, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, the Lamb of God, the Messiah, the Emmanuel, the pre existent Word, in fleshed in Jesus, the Christ. The Kingdom, not of Power and Glory, or Might and Strength as the world sees it, but of servant hood, with  a foot washer King; dying was the Triumph of Jesus as the greatest sign of God’s love, re breathed into life as the Triumph  of the Father …….. Resurrection…….’ Mine is not a Kingdom of this world’, as we hear in today’s Gospel, the Kingdom of God lives, breathes and creates ‘truth’, hand in hand with God’s loving kindness.  It is a Kingdom that can be heard, with those who have the ears to hear…….. It is a Kingdom whose presence and future mission is experienced by the recipients’…it is heard through the ears, seen with the eyes, and lived within the heart and the mind, in and through unconditional love, and fortified through the two way street of ‘prayer’.. No fancy clothes for this King! No ornate Chair for this King. No honorific worldly titles for this King, no seeking the front seats to see this King…..He will come in the back door! As St.Teresa Avila once said, and then put to Music by John Talbot:-

 

Christ has no body now but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through He looks compassion on this world, yours are the feet with which He walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world.

YOURS ARE THE HANDS, YOURS ARE THE FEET, YOURS ARE THE EYES, YOU ARE HIS BODY.

Christ has no Body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through He looks, compassion on this world. Christ has no Body now on earth but yours.

We gives thanks to God our Father, for his Son, the faithful witness to his truth.  When we celebrate the memorial of his death and resurrection, we proclaim the kingship of him who was lifted up on the Cross.

God Bless you and your families, and may we never forget each other in prayer.      Fr.Kev

OUR FAMILY PRAYER TIME………

This is a great opportunity to gather the Family in Prayer. Having a Prayer Setting really adds to and designates this time as a ‘special’ time together. You might like to have a nice coloured cloth on a coffee table, or on the centre of the Dining Room Table. You will need a candle, Crucifix, Bible …in the opened position, even at the Gospel of the Sunday, and maybe a flower. During Easter tide you might like to place some white and gold material on your devotional altar. You might like to create your own permanent ‘sacred space’ in your home, where the Word of God is open, and a small tee light within a fire proof glass, could awaken in the minds and hearts of your family of the ‘real presence’ of God in His Word.  Prayer time needs to be able to engage as many of our senses as possible. The burning of some fragrant oil also can evoke in the minds of your family, ‘prayer time’. Someone in the family might like to be the leader of the intercessions, then other family members can share the prayers….everyone can be invited to join is spontaneous shared prayer…

Leader: Christ the King is with us at all times, even to the end of the world. With confi­dence we lift our hearts to God and pray that we will be worthy one day to join Christ in his glory.

That Christ’s reign be visible through the loving service of all members of the Church. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.

That Christ’s reign be visible through all peoples faithful witness to God’s presence. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.

That Christ’s reign be visible through relieving the suffering of the poor, imprisoned, per­secuted. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.

That Christ’s reign be visible through each of us in our daily efforts to live the paschal mystery. We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.

Let’s think back over the past week, and what we have seen on the T.V News, Breaking News on our Mobile Phones, ipads & tablets….who are some of the people in our Global village or need our prayers? You might like to share some of these…………., We pray to the Lord: Lord, graciously hear us.

Leader: Father all-powerful, God of love, you raised your Son to new life and seated him at your right hand in glory where he could reign as King for ever: hear these our prayers, help us to be faithful in our service of others, and lead us to worship you always with sin­cere hearts. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the King now and for ever. Amen.

Blessing is taken from the Iona Abbey Sacramentary, Scotland.

Iona Abbey is located on the Isle of Iona, just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland. It is one of the oldest and most important religious centres in Western Europe. The abbey was a focal point for the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland and marks the foundation of a monastic community by St. Columba, when Iona was part of the Kingdom of Dál Riata.

1.                        The Cross

ALL WE SHALL TAKE IT.

 2..                        The bread……………

ALL WE SHALL BREAK IT.

 3.                        The pain

ALL WE SHALL BEAR IT.

 4.                        The joy………………

ALL WE SHALL SHARE IT.

 5.                        The Gospel……………

ALL WE SHALL LIVE IT.

 6..                        The love…………

ALL WE SHALL GIVE IT.

 7.                       The light……………

ALL WE SHALL CHERISH IT.

 8.                       The darkness…………….

ALL WE SHALL PERISH IT. Amen.

 

 

 

 

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