The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Call to worship

On this last Sunday of the Church year, we celebrate Jesus Christ, King of the Universe and Savior of the World. Christ is a king whose throne is the cross of love and forgiveness.

  • To the point: “If you are King … save yourself” the soldiers jeered at Jesus on the cross. So did the rulers and one criminal crucified with Jesus taunt him about saving himself. But they misunderstood what “save yourself” means. They thought being saved meant that Jesus should come down from the cross, avoid any more suffering, avoid death. But Jesus shows us through his words to the other criminal what being saved really means: “You will be with me in Paradise.” Salvation is less a matter of being saved from, than a matter of being saved for.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 23:35-43) to the second reading: Paul expresses what we have been saved for: the inheritance of holiness, membership in the kingdom of the beloved Son, a share in Christ’s fullness, reconciliation with all things, and peace.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: What we are celebrating with this solemnity is not a style of government (earthly kings and kingdoms), but the victory of Christ over all things —  death. Christ the King makes possible among us a reign of goodness, mercy, forgiveness, justice, reconciliation, peace.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Luke 23: 35-43)

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

Christ, with your last breath you cared for the lost and lonely.
Please remember us. Call all of us to mind,
each and every one of us,  when you come into your kingdom!
We entrust ourselves, with Dismas, to you, to your infinite love
and mercy, and like him, we ask simply: remember us.

The First Reading

(2 Samuel 5: 1-3)

You shall shepherd my people, Israel.

Guide us into your kingdom, O Jesus.
Put us on the path of peace.
Raise us as we fall. And hold us awhile.
If we run off to a wild, dark place,
then please pull us back.
Watch over us with love.
And shepherd others through us.

The Second Reading

(Colossians 1: 12-20)

For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell.

King Christ, tell about the “fullness”
that is “pleased to dwell” in you!
Does everything beautiful reside in you?
How about wisdom and endless capacity to forgive?
Or the fullness of your gentle love that cradles all the world?
Please grant us just a small share of your love.
Let it come to dwell in us.

Copyright © 2019, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection