Sunday, November 21, 2021

 

Last Sunday of Church Year

CHRIST KING OF UNIVERSE-PRESENTATION-TV

 

Proverbs, Chapter 3, Verse 24-26

24 When you lie down, you will not be AFRAID, when you rest, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror, of the ruin of the wicked when it comes; 26 For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from the snare.

 

Where does your confidence come from? In whom do you trust?

This word, confidence, summarizes the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity sovereign virtues which bring all the others in their train. But if these are the highest virtues, then the greatest heroism is demanded of us in order to realize them in the face of the mystery of a "hidden God." A man must be heroic to live always in faith, hope, and love. Why? Because, as a result of Original Sin, no one can be certain with the certainty of faith that he is saved, but only with a moral certainty based upon fidelity to grace; and because as sinners we are constantly tempted by doubt and anxiety. It was in order to resolve this conflict between our desires and our powerlessness that Jesus came to earth and took our infirmities upon Himself. Little Thérèse understood that it is our state of misery which attracts His mercy. It is confidence, and nothing but confidence, which will open the arms of Jesus to you so that He will bear you up. Confidence will be for you the golden key to His Heart. We have been trained in the habit of looking at our dark side, our ugliness, and not at the purifying Sun, Light of Light, which He is, who changes the dust that we are into pure gold. We think about examining ourselves, yet we do not think, before the examination, during the examination, and after the examination, to plunge ourselves, with all our miseries, into the consuming and transforming furnace of His Heart, which is open to us through a single humble act of confidence. We must have confidence, not in spite of our miseries, but because of them, since it is misery which attracts mercy.[1]

The enemy wants to steal our peace and keep us stirred up, anxious, fearful, upset, and always in a stance of waiting for something terrible to happen at any minute. The enemy wants us unable to forget the terrible things that occurred in the past and instead remember them as though they happened yesterday. God has healing for upsetting memories. It’s not that He gives us amnesia. We still remember that it happened, but not incessantly and not with the same pain and torture. Peace is more than just having a good night’s sleep— although many people would think even that to be a miracle— but it is peace in every part of your being all the time. It is a place you live because of the One who lives in you. Jesus made it possible for us to have the peace that passes all understanding— the kind that carries us, stabilizes us, grounds us, and keeps us from slipping.[2]

Be aware of the small things and people who enter your life: It may be from the Lord.

A LION was awakened from sleep by a Mouse running over his face. Rising up angrily, he caught him and was about to kill him, when the Mouse piteously entreated, saying: “If you would only spare my life, I would be sure to repay your kindness.” The Lion laughed and let him go. It happened shortly after this that the Lion was caught by some hunters, who bound him by strong ropes to the ground. The Mouse, recognizing his roar, came and gnawed the rope with his teeth, and set him free, exclaiming: “You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help you, not expecting to receive from me any repayment of your favor; now you know that it is possible for even a Mouse to confer benefits on a Lion.”[3]

A BRAZIER had a little Dog, which was a great favorite with his master, and his constant companion. While he hammered away at his metals the Dog slept; but when, on the other hand, he went to dinner and began to eat, the Dog woke up and wagged his tail, as if he would ask for a share of his meal. His master one day, pretending to be angry and shaking his stick at him, said, “You wretched little sluggard! What shall I do to you? While I am hammering on the anvil, you sleep on the mat; and when I begin to eat after my toil, you wake up and wag your tail for food. Do you not know that labor is the source of every blessing, and that none but those who work are entitled to eat?”[4]

ON KEEPING THE LORDS DAY HOLY[5]

CHAPTER III

DIES ECCLESIAE

The Eucharistic Assembly:
Heart of Sunday

A joyful celebration in song

50. Given the nature of Sunday Mass and its importance in the lives of the faithful, it must be prepared with special care. In ways dictated by pastoral experience and local custom in keeping with liturgical norms, efforts must be made to ensure that the celebration has the festive character appropriate to the day commemorating the Lord's Resurrection. To this end, it is important to devote attention to the songs used by the assembly, since singing is a particularly apt way to express a joyful heart, accentuating the solemnity of the celebration and fostering the sense of a common faith and a shared love. Care must be taken to ensure the quality, both of the texts and of the melodies, so that what is proposed today as new and creative will conform to liturgical requirements and be worthy of the Church's tradition which, in the field of sacred music, boasts a priceless heritage.

 

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

The Last Sunday of the Church Year[6] 

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, formerly referred to as "Christ the King," was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man's thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ's royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations. Today's Mass establishes the titles for Christ's royalty over men: 

1) Christ is God, the Creator of the universe and hence wields a supreme power over all things; "All things were created by Him"; 

2) Christ is our Redeemer, He purchased us by His precious Blood, and made us His property and possession. 

3) Christ is Head of the Church, "holding in all things the primacy”. 

4) God bestowed upon Christ the nations of the world as His special possession and dominion. 

Today's Mass also describes the qualities of Christ's kingdom. This kingdom is: 

1) supreme, extending not only to all people but also to their princes and kings. 

2) universal, extending to all nations and to all places. 

3) eternal, for "The Lord shall sit a King forever”. 

4) spiritual, Christ's "kingdom is not of this world." — 

Indeed, we all are called to be fishers of men; the Lord calls all; truly we are not powerless for He gives us his very flesh that we may become Christ to everyone we encounter.

Christ the King as Represented in the Liturgy

The liturgy is an album in which every epoch of Church history immortalizes itself. Therein, accordingly, can be found the various pictures of Christ beloved during succeeding centuries. In its pages we see pictures of Jesus suffering and in agony; we see pictures of His Sacred Heart; yet these pictures are not proper to the nature of the liturgy as such; they resemble baroque altars in a gothic church. Classic liturgy knows but one Christ: The King, radiant, majestic, and divine.

With an ever-growing desire, all Advent awaits the "coming King"; in the chants of the breviary we find repeated again and again the two expressions "King" and "is coming." On Christmas the Church would greet, not the Child of Bethlehem, but the Rex Pacificus — "the King of peace gloriously reigning." Within a fortnight, there follows a feast which belongs to the greatest of the feasts of the Church year -- the Epiphany. As in ancient times oriental monarchs visited their principalities (theophany), so the divine King appears in His city, the Church; from its sacred precincts He casts His glance over all the world....On the final feast of the Christmas cycle, the Presentation in the Temple, holy Church meets her royal Bridegroom with virginal love: "Adorn your bridal chamber, O Sion, and receive Christ your King!" The burden of the Christmas cycle may be summed up in these words: Christ the King establishes His Kingdom of light upon earth!

If we now consider the Easter cycle, the luster of Christ's royal dignity is indeed somewhat veiled by His sufferings; nevertheless, it is not the suffering Jesus who is present to the eyes of the Church as much as Christ the royal Hero and Warrior who upon the battlefield of Golgotha struggles with the mighty and dies in triumph. Even during Lent and Passiontide the Church acclaims her King. The act of homage on Palm Sunday is intensely stirring; singing psalms in festal procession we accompany our Savior singing: Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe, "Glory, praise and honor be to Thee, Christ, O King!" It is true that on Good Friday the Church meditates upon the Man of Sorrows in agony upon the Cross, but at the same time, and perhaps more so, she beholds Him as King upon a royal throne. The hymn Vexilla Regis, "The royal banners forward go," is the more perfect expression of the spirit from which the Good Friday liturgy has arisen. Also characteristic is the verse from Psalm 95, Dicite in gentibus quia Dominus regnavit, to which the early Christians always added, a ligno, "Proclaim among the Gentiles: the Lord reigns from upon the tree of the Cross!" During Paschal time the Church is so occupied with her glorified Savior and Conqueror that kingship references become rarer; nevertheless, toward the end of the season we celebrate our King's triumph after completing the work of redemption, His royal enthronement on Ascension Thursday.

Neither in the time after Pentecost is the picture of Christ as King wholly absent from the liturgy. Corpus Christi is a royal festival: "Christ the King who rules the nations, come, let us adore" (Invit.). In the Greek Church the feast of the Transfiguration is the principal solemnity in honor of Christ's kingship, Summum Regem gloriae Christum adoremus (Invit.). Finally at the sunset of the ecclesiastical year, the Church awaits with burning desire the return of the King of Majesty.

We will overlook further considerations in favor of a glance at the daily Offices. How often do we not begin Matins with an act of royal homage: "The King of apostles, of martyrs, of confessors, of virgins — come, let us adore" (Invit.). Lauds is often introduced with Dominus regnavit, "The Lord is King". Christ as King is also a first consideration at the threshold of each day; for morning after morning we renew our oath of fidelity at Prime: "To the King of ages be honor and glory." Every oration is concluded through our Mediator Christ Jesus "who lives and reigns forever." Yes, age-old liturgy beholds Christ reigning as King in His basilica (etym.: "the king's house"), upon the altar as His throne.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Exhortation[7]

The most holy council, then, earnestly entreats all the laity in the Lord to answer gladly, nobly, and promptly the more urgent invitation of Christ in this hour and the impulse of the Holy Spirit. Younger persons should feel that this call has been directed to them especially and they should respond to it eagerly and generously. The Lord renews His invitation to all the laity to come closer to Him every day, recognizing that what is His is also their own (Phil. 2:5), to associate themselves with Him in His saving mission. Once again, He sends them into every town and place where He will come (cf. Luke 10:1) so that they may show that they are co-workers in the various forms and modes of the one apostolate of the Church, which must be constantly adapted to the new needs of our times. Ever productive as they should be in the work of the Lord, they know that their labor in Him is not in vain (cf. 1 Cor. 15:58).

Things to Do[8]

·       A procession for Christ the King on this feast day, either in the Church or at home is appropriate for this feast. The Blessed Sacrament would be carried, and the procession would end with a prayer of consecration to Christ the King and Benediction. Try to participate if your parish has a Christ the King procession. If not, try having one at home (minus the Blessed Sacrament).

·       Read Pope Pius XI's encyclical Quas primas (On the Feast of Christ the King) which shows that secularism is the direct denial of Christ's Kingship.

·       Learn more about secularism - read the Annual Statement of the Bishops of the United States released on November 14, 1947.

·       Being a relatively newer feast on the Liturgical calendar, there are no traditional foods for this day. Suggested ideas: a wonderful family Sunday dinner, and bake a cake shaped as a crown or King Cake or a bread in shape of a crown in honor of Christ the King.

·       A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously recite the Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King. A plenary indulgence is granted; if it is recite publicly on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King.

Octave of Christ the King[9]

Upon research I have discovered there is no Octave of Christ the King of the Universe. However, I propose to make a retreat; an octave from now through the first Sunday of Advent.

The "eighth day" or octava dies was associated with the weekly Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ every "eighth day", which became a name for Sunday. As circumcision was performed on the "eighth day" after birth, the number 8 became associated also with baptism, and baptismal fonts have from an early date often been octagonal. The practice of octaves was first introduced under Constantine I, when the dedication festivities of the basilicas at Jerusalem and Tyre, Lebanon were observed for eight days. After these one-off occasions, annual liturgical feasts began to be dignified with an octave. The first such feasts were Easter, Pentecost, and, in the East, Epiphany. This occurred in the fourth century and served as a period of time for the newly baptized to take a joyful retreat.

·       I plan to attend Mass daily or via EWTN or the internet

·       Mediate on the virtues of Mary (Humility, Generosity, Chastity, Patience, Temperance, Understanding/love and Wisdom. One for each day.

·       Fast doing the Daniel fast (Monday-Saturday).

·       Exercise-Universal Man Plan. 

The Ego and the King[10] 

On the last Sunday of the liturgical year, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. Now see how he takes our nature out of love in His passion; Jesus is alone; the crowds who sang ‘hosanna!’ as he entered Jerusalem just five days previously are now shouting, ‘Crucify him!’  He has been accused unjustly. His mission has all but collapsed. His friends have run away; one of them has sold him, another says that he does not even know him.  And now he stands before the most powerful person in the land on a falsified charge.  This is a really bad day, and it is about to get worse.  He will be flogged; he will walk the way of the Cross ... what happens next is well known to us all.  It is a day which seems, by our normal standards, to be characterized by failure and abandonment.  This is not our usual idea of what happens to a king. What we have here are two worlds, two kingdoms that come face to face as Jesus stands before Pilate. On the one side we have this earthly ruler representing the most successful empire the world had ever seen, a man with economic, political and military power: a successful man, with a reputation. This is someone to be taken seriously. And in Jesus we have God’s world, the Kingdom of God personified, and a completely different set of values where we are not subjects or slaves, but we are now friends. We are not equals; God is the Creator, the maker and author of all, but our relationship with God has been restored. We have a king who rules over an eternal kingdom which, in the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer for this feast, is described as: 

·       a kingdom of truth and life,

·       a kingdom of holiness and grace,

·       a kingdom of justice, love and peace. 

But which world do we value?  Inevitably as Christians we inhabit both of these worlds, we move between them.  We may spend six days a week living in one kingdom, but only one matters, and we know which one, but it is often hard to choose.  Pilate represents one kingdom; Jesus represents the other. In the Nicene Creed there are only two people (apart from Jesus) that are mentioned by name – Pilate and Mary – and again they show this same contrast: Pilate is wealthy, powerful, male, successful, secure, safely married; he has most of the things that many of us desire.  Mary on the other hand, at the Annunciation, is a young woman, pregnant out of wedlock and therefore suspect, and at risk of exclusion from the Jewish community.  

She is one of the anawim, the voiceless, the poor who yearn for good news.  Few of us desire to be like this. We have these two worlds, two kingdoms.  Only one of them is the Kingdom of God; only one of them is true, eternal and universal.  But which do we choose? Which do we hope for?  For which am I ambitious?  If we are honest with ourselves, very often we would rather be Pilate. But it is not about us, it is about Jesus.  He is king, no one else.  To talk of kingship or lordship can evoke images of oppressive or coercive systems, but for Jesus kingship is about humility and service.  

This feast is not to flatter a king with a fragile ego in need of reassurance, but to celebrate in gratitude the love and kindness of someone who is so committed to us that he will not compromise even in the face of the most powerful in the land, and who will not baulk even at death itself.  The image of the Shepherd King may not be an especially rich one for most of us, but it was immensely powerful for the people of Israel, evoking ideas of care and love.  All of this is in contrast to the kingship of power and domination, the reigns of kings that do not have the best interests of everyone at heart.  This is the king who is lord over life and death and all there is. There is plenty of ambition in this world; that is not necessarily a bad thing.  

But Christians are called to be ambitious for the Kingdom, not for ourselves; to seek power not in order to dominate, but to serve.  The only throne that this king found was the cross.  We are not to seek thrones of glory on which we can be admired, and if we do get them then we ought to pray for a very large dose of humility; we are to pray before the Throne of Glory from which we will receive mercy, love and hope. In a world where we are so often encouraged to seek power and success, it can be difficult to accept the truth of this; however, this truth is not a proposition or an idea, but a person to get to know.  ‘Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice’, says Jesus – and Pilate does not hear him.  

One of the reasons the Church says that each Sunday is a Holy Day of Obligation is because in order to get to know this person, in order to be people of the truth we have to meet him – in the Word and sacrament – and spend time with him, listen to his voice: to find out about the Kingdom of God. This is not easy, and we need the support of each other, the support of the Church.  We, like Jesus, will probably encounter denial or betrayal.  Like Judas and Peter, we may at times betray or deny him; these are risks for us also.  But Christians are future-oriented people, and we are asked to have a vision of a better world, not just in the next life but in this, and to dream of a kingdom in which Christ is the king.  We are people of hope –people who, in the future, can be free from our past and the worst we have done: our spectacular sins – the betrayals, the denials; and our mundane, ordinary and petty ones.  But this hope is fragile and needs to be protected.  

In the Mass for the Feast of Christ the King we are asked to bring our worst to the Lord, to bring our nightmares and our horror.  Our nightmare can be turned into dreams of hope; there is a future, death is not the end, Good Friday is followed by the resurrection.  God will make all things new.  The life, death and resurrection of Jesus show us this.  Bring your best and your worst, your dreams and your nightmares to the altar.  We have a king who can cope with that, a king who can cope with us.  Thank God for that.  

Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary[11]


 

THE Blessed Virgin was presented in the temple at Jerusalem by her pious parents, Joachim and Ann, there to be educated in the service and the law of the Lord in order that she might be guarded against the defilements of the world. From this we learn:

 

Joachim and Ann offered to the Lord their only and most beloved child and gave her up entirely to His service. Great as the sacrifice was, they yet made it. The preservation of the innocence of their daughter was to them above all else. Parents, God requires of you that you should not merely offer your children to Him in the temple, but that you should take care to keep them pure and holy, as living temples which have been consecrated in Baptism.

 

Mary gives and dedicates herself to God as soon as she is capable of serving Him, and that without any reservation, for all time, and irrevocably.

 

·       When then, shall we give ourselves in earnest to God? True, we have been given to Him in holy Baptism, we have been consecrated as His temples, we have renounced the devil and the world, we have vowed to live only for God, and this vow we have, perhaps, often renewed; but have we kept it?

·       What we gave with one hand have we not taken it away with the other? Have we not denied the temple of our hearts by shameful lusts, lived for the world and vanity more than for God? Ah, when shall we give ourselves up to God sincerely and forever? Perhaps when we are old! But will God accept our offering then?

·       Will He be pleased that we begin to serve Him only when we can no longer serve the world? That we first begin to live for Him when our life is soon to cease? No; God is a jealous Lord and is not pleased with a heart divided between Him and creatures. He requires us to love Him with all our heart and all our soul, and to serve Him with all our powers. Let us, then, do this, and do it from our youth; let us keep ourselves in body and soul undefiled for the Lord; such love, and such love only, will He reward as perfect.

 

Things to Do[12]

 

·       Meditate on the mystery of Mary's temporary dwelling in the sanctuary of the Old Covenant as a preparation for the approaching season of Advent.

·       Locate the order of contemplative nuns closest to you and visit their monastery (you may want to request their prayers and you might consider supporting them financially), they are the privileged souls who, by the grace of their vocation, are even here below dwellers in the house of the Lord.

·       Spend 30 minutes reading the Bible.

·       Learn more about Mary in the Byzantine Liturgy and say one of the beautiful prayers of the Eastern liturgy in honor of Mary.

 

World Television Day[13]

 

World Television Day celebrates the daily value of television as a symbol of communication and globalization. Television is one of the single greatest technological advances of the 20th century, serving to educate, inform, entertain and influence our decisions and opinions.  It is estimated that approximately 90% of homes around the world have televisions; however, with the introduction of internet broadcasting, the number is declining in favor of computers. World Television Day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1996. It is celebrated annually on November 21.

 

World Television Day Facts & Quotes

 

·       TV stimulates the economy by providing countless avenues for jobs. Over 1.2 million people in the European Union alone are employed in the media sector

·       In France, 63% of children between the age of 0 and 15 live in a household with 4 screens (TV, computer, tablet etc.).

·       Television creates authority. When something is shown on TV it has a particular authority about it because you know that you and millions of other people are seeing it and that professionals have produced it.

·       In Canada, nearly 95% of people aged 18-34 watch TV each month, which results in 12 and a half hours of weekly TV watching.

·       Television is a medium because anything well done is rare. - Fred Allen, American comedian and radio show host

 

Donate to catholic Television today if you can!


Octave of Christ the King

 ·       attend Mass daily or via EWTN or the internet

·       Mediate on the virtues of Mary (Humility, Generosity, Chastity, Patience, Temperance, Understanding/love and Wisdom. One for each day.

                                                 

·       Fast doing the Daniel fast (Monday-Saturday).

·       Exercise-Universal Man Plan.

Daily Devotions

·       Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: For the intercession of the angels and saints

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Go to MASS

·       Rosary

 



[1]https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/humble-confidence.html

[2]Omartian, Stormie. The 7-Day Prayer Warrior Experience

[3]George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables

[4]George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables

[9]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octave_(liturgy)

[11]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[12]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2017-11-21

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