Meeting Christ in the Liturgy

The Solemnity of Jesus Christ, Universal King


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Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus


Ezekiel 34, 11-12. 15-17; Psalm 23; 1 Corinthians 15, 20-26. 28; Matthew 25, 31-46

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!
Christ conquers! Christ rules! Christ reigns!

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels of heaven, he will sit upon his royal throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him." (Mt 25) We worship Jesus Christ as Lord and King because he is victorious in the battle over sin and death. In His resurrection, which we celebrate and in which we participate at every Eucharistic Sacrifice, our Lord established His rule over all creation, and overcame in Himself the effects of the sin of Adam. Christ is Lord, for he has conquered what we fear most and have no power against, the cruel and bitter specter of death. We cannot but exult and shout for joy with the knowledge that we can share in His Resurrection. We share in the Resurrection in the first place by meeting Christ in the liturgy, in Word and Sacrament. The Christ we receive in the Eucharist is the Easter Christ, the risen and glorified Christ as he is now victoriously seated at the right hand of the Father in glory.

The lesson of the final judgment in St. Matthew's Gospel, chapter 25, verses thirty-one to forty-six, makes clear that we are to seek out and to meet Christ wherever he may be found, in a particular way in human life in all its stages and conditions. "Truly, I say to you, as you did it one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." (Mt 25:40)

The Lord associates himself in a mysterious way with the poor. We may have great reverence for His true and real presence in the Blessed Sacrament, and are called to love him with our whole heart, mind soul and strength. Yet, we cannot please God or love Him as we ought if we fail to love our neighbor as our self, doing so for love of Christ. The divine love and life poured out abundantly in the Eucharist is given both for love of God and love of neighbor.

The Catechism teaches that the requirement of charity for our neighbor flows from the presence of Christ by the power of his word and the Holy Spirit.

'Christ Jesus who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us,' is present in many ways to his Church: (Rom 8:34) in his word, in his Church's prayer, 'where two or three are gathered in my name,' (Mt 18:20) in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, (Mt 25:31-46) in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But 'he is present...most especially in the Eucharistic species'. (CCC 1373)

Our Lord Jesus has given His Body and Blood to us precisely so that we may overflow with the same love for others that he has first given to us. It is for this reason that he will judge us at the end of the world on the ways in which we have generously and self-sacrificingly offered ourselves for the life of others in imitation of the way in which He gives of His own life unceasingly for His bride, the Church.

It is fashionable today to take up such causes as feeding the hungry, building shelter for the homeless, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty. These are good and necessary, and a sign that Christ is at work among many men and women of good will. There remain, however, the many who are neglected, abandoned, whose lives are threatened. The Christian will be praised for feeding, clothing and helping the poor, for being with the lonely. These are good works and they must be taken up by the Christian community together with all men and women of good will. The Christian, however, is condemned and attacked for recognizing that these works of charity should also be extended to the confused and rejected young mother, to the unborn child, to the terminally ill, and to all those whose lives are determined to be not worth living.

The kingdom of Christ, a reign of charity and peace, is for all. The Lord sends us out as his disciples so that all mankind may be brought under his reign in the world. We the baptized are the agents through whom the social kingship of Christ will be realized. Our baptism is our commission and our grace for the apostolate.

Today after Mass, with others or with the whole congregation and with priest or deacon leading, pray together the "Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus", in petition that "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Fr. Cusick (Publish with permission.)


Solemnity of CHRIST THE KING

Daniel 7. 13-14; Psalm 93. 1-2, 5; Revelation 1. 5-8; St. John 18. 33b-37

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Lord Jesus is universal King because his Lordship is divine, eternal and omnipotent, therefore extending to all times, places and peoples. His Lordship is also of the truth, and all of those who share in his reign witness to the truth. Thus is fulfilled the eighth commandment, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (Ex 20:16; cf. Deut 5:20)

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world." Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice." (Jn 18. 36-38)

Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that he has "come into the world, to bear witness to the truth." (Jn 18:37) The Christian is not to "be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord." (2 Tim 1:8) In situations that require witness to the faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation, after the example of St. Paul before his judges. We must keep "a clear conscience toward God and toward men. (Acts 24:16) (CCC 2471)

After the communion prayer of today's Mass, take the opportunity for liturgical expression of Christ's kingship through benediction and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the Litany of the Sacred Heart and Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy"---Father Cusick
(See also paragraph 217, 549, 559, 600 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.) (Publish with permission.)


The Solemnity of Jesus Christ, Universal King

2 Samuel 5, 1-3; Psalm 121 (122), 1-2.3-4.4-5; Colossians 1, 12-20; St. Luke 23, 35-43

Christ is the anointed one. Anointed by God the Father to be the Messiah, and therefore King. By reason of his godhead, Jesus the Son shares in the dominion of the Father and the Holy Spirit over all creation. His kingdom is not of this world, and so his kingship is not like that of earthly kings. He is also the Suffering Servant.

Jesus accepted Peter's profession of faith, which acknowledged him to be the Messiah, by announcing the imminent Passion of the Son of Man (Cf. Mt 16:16-23.) He unveiled the authentic content of his messianinc kingship both in the transcendent identity of the Son of Man "who came down from heaven," and in his redemptive mission as the suffering Servant: "The Son of Man came not to be served, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Jn 13:3; Mt 20:28; cf. Jn 6:62; Dan 7:13; Isa 53:10-12.) Hence the true meaning of his kingship is revealed only when he is raised high on the cross. (Cf. Jn 19:19-22; Lk 23:39-43.) Only after his resurrection will Peter be able to proclaim Jesus' messianic kingship to the People of God: "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." (Acts 2:36.)
(CCC 440)

Jesus Christ is Universal King not only by reason of his divine omnipotence, but more the cause of joy and confidence for us, the Suffering Servant who has established his lordship through conquering sin and death through the Cross and Resurrection. Jesus Christ is our Redeeming and merciful sovereign Lord.
Looking forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy"---Father Cusick
(See also CCC 1021, 2616, 2266)

Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Indulgences: 5 years; plenary once a month for daily recitation on the usual conditions. On the feast of Christ the King, to be solemnly read with the Litany of the Sacred Heart before the blessed Sacrament exposed: then, 7 years, and a plenary indulgence supposing Confession and Communion (Pius XI, 1926, 1927, 1932)

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before thy altar. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known you; many too, despising your precepts have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them all to your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their father's house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry : Praise to the divine heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.