Liturgy of the Sunday

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Feast of Christ the King of the Universe

First Reading

2 Samuel 5,1-3

All the tribes of Israel then came to David at Hebron and said, 'Look, we are your own flesh and bone. In days past when Saul was our king, it was you who led Israel on its campaigns, and to you it was that Yahweh promised, "You are to shepherd my people Israel and be leader of Israel." ' So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them in Yahweh's presence at Hebron, and they anointed David as king of Israel.


Psalm 121


Call for peace for Jerusalem.

'I rejoiced when I heard them say :
'Let us go to God's house'.

And now our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city
strongly compact.

It is there that the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel's law it is,
there to praise the Lord's name.

There were set the thrones of Judgement
of the house of David.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray :
'Peace be to your homes!

May peace reign in your walls,
in your palaces, peace!'

For love of my brethren and friends
I say : 'Peace upon you!

For the love of the house of the Lord
I will ask for your good.

Second Reading

Colossians 1,12-20

giving thanks with joy to the Father who has made you able to share the lot of God's holy people and with them to inherit the light. Because that is what he has done. It is he who has rescued us from the ruling force of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son that he loves, and in him we enjoy our freedom, the forgiveness of sin. He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born of all creation, for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible, thrones, ruling forces, sovereignties, powers -- all things were created through him and for him. He exists before all things and in him all things hold together, and he is the Head of the Body, that is, the Church. He is the Beginning, the first-born from the dead, so that he should be supreme in every way; because God wanted all fullness to be found in him and through him to reconcile all things to him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, by making peace through his death on the cross.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 23,35-43

The people stayed there watching. As for the leaders, they jeered at him with the words, 'He saved others, let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.' The soldiers mocked him too, coming up to him, offering him vinegar, and saying, 'If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.' Above him there was an inscription: 'This is the King of the Jews'. One of the criminals hanging there abused him: 'Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us as well.' But the other spoke up and rebuked him. 'Have you no fear of God at all?' he said. 'You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.' Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' He answered him, 'In truth I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


With this Sunday the liturgical year comes to a close. The year is not fruit of human measurements rather God's. In its Constitution on the Liturgy, the Second Vatican Council, emphasises that the liturgical year is Christ himself. In the course of this time, believers are in fact taken by the hand, from day to day, from Sunday to Sunday, from Advent to the feast of Christ the King, and they are accompanied in the contemplation of the mystery of God's history of love for mankind. And in celebrating the Lord's memory, the holy liturgy makes us share in the mystery of salvation that is being celebrated. The apostle Paul reminds us of it in the Letter to the Colossians we heard: the Lord "has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Col 1:13-14). We are indeed those who have been "transferred," those who have "emigrated," from this world, where darkness and evil reign, to another world, where the Lord Jesus and his love reign. This world of Jesus is certainly "other" from that in which the power of evil continues to claim victims.
Pilate asked Jesus, "So you are king?" and was answered, "You say that I am a king." And Jesus immediately added: "For this I was born, and for this I came into the world." Jesus came to be king. It is an affirmation, at the same time solemn and dramatic, because it will lead Jesus to the death sentence on the cross. Pilate wanted this condemnation to be written on a tablet to be affixed to the cross: "Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews."
Certainly, Jesus appears to people as a strange king: his throne is a cross and his court consists of two thieves crucified with him and a few women and a single young man who, grieving, huddle together under the scaffold. But it is the image that has always marked every Christian community. And it marks it in the symbol of the cross that stands out in every church, but especially in life when Christians are persecuted. The Gospel tells us that from the cross Jesus defeats the prince of evil, from the cross begins the liberation of mankind from the dominion of sin and death.
While he was nailed to the cross, the very same suggestion is made by all, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself"(23:37). It is the gospel of the world, an alternative to the gospel of Jesus. And each of us knows well how insidious and penetrating the gospel of the world is. But this dogma of self-love was overcome by Jesus on that cross. Jesus did not save himself, but gave his life to save others.
This feast of Christ the King shows us this royal love that changes people's lives. Let us imitate that Mother and that small group of women with that young disciple, holding fast to the cross and waiting for the resurrection, as we continue to say to the Lord: "Lord, we will not betray with Judas" kiss, but like the good thief we say to you: remember us in your kingdom." And we will hear ourselves answer even now: "Today, in this holy assembly, you are with me in paradise."