Christ the King of the Universe

Call to worship

“My kingdom does not belong to this world.”

Today we celebrate the great solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe. Jesus’ kingdom is different from the kingdoms of this world. His Kingdom resides in loving hearts, in people who are willing to lay down their lives for others.

  • To the point: Pilate’s question, “I am not a Jew, am I?” only reveals a tension between earthly kingdoms: Rome vs. Israel. Jesus’ response, however, unearths a broader tension: this world vs. Jesus’ kingdom. The broader tension embroils all peoples in the challenge to accept Jesus’ kingship not as power “over” but as power “to.” Consequently, the truth of Jesus’ kingdom does not lie in anything of this world but in hearts turned to God, ears attuned to Jesus’ voice, and actions bespeaking faithful following of Jesus. We navigate the tension between the way of the world and the way of Jesus’ kingdom by putting flesh on the truth: laying down one’s life for others.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 18 33-37) to the first and second readings: Christ’s presence and kingship are not found in the “clouds” (first & second readings) but in his suffering and death (second reading & Gospel) for our sakes and in the tension within our own lives as we struggle to align ourselves with the truth of the kingdom of Christ our King.
  • Connecting the Gospel to our experience: Normally kingship is associated with power, prestige, and wealth. Surprisingly, the Gospel presents Christ the King on trial and about to suffer and die.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(John 18: 33b-37)

For this was I born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.

Oh Jesus, before you came we only guessed at the truth.
Could we have known that God loved the poor,
that God healed the brokenhearted,
the sick and the distressed?
Nor that God would offer his very Son for our sake?
Yours is the kingdom of love. Help us know,
belong and testify with you to this loving truth.

The First Reading

(Daniel 7: 13-14)

All peoples, nations, and languages serve him.

Christ, perfect ruler, source of perfect peace and justice:
reign now and forever over all creation,
all peoples, all languages, nations; over our hearts.

The Second Reading

(Revelation 1: 5-8)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is
and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Jesus, please be the beginning and end of our every day,
our every project, and prayer, and peril and love:
everything we do and all that we are.

Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection