34th Sunday of the Year – Christ the King (b)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Sunday 22nd November: Solemnity of Christ the King. (B)
The first reading is from the Prophet Daniel. He foresees the coming of one who will have dominion over all peoples. The early Christians saw this as a reference to Christ, the Universal King.
The second reading is from the Book of Revelation. It refers to Christ taking full possession of his kingdom only at the end of time.
In the Gospel, Jesus declares before Pilate that he is indeed a King but that his kingdom is not like the kingdoms of this world.
Monday 23rd November: Monday of the 34th week of the year.
During this last week of the Church’s year, the Book of Daniel is used. Part of it contains the tales of the heroes of the Babylonian exile, some fictitious. The other part has accounts of visions, often called apocalyptical which means referring to the Last Judgement.
Today’s reading recounts the faithfulness of Daniel and his three friends who refuse to compromise their faith and belief by taking food that was against their laws and traditions.
In the Gospel the poor woman is praised because of her tremendous generosity in giving a large proportion of what she had to help the poor.
Tuesday 24th November: Memorial of St. Andrew Dung Lac and Companions.
There are 117 martyrs in this group and although they all died at different times, they were canonised by Pope John Paul in 1988. They were martyred when Christians in Vietnam were persecuted from 1625 to 1886There were 8 bishops, 50 priests and 59 lay people. Andrew Dung Lac was a diocesan priest. All of the martyrs refused to deny their faith in the face of terrible torture.
Wednesday 25th November: Wednesday of the 34th week of the year.
Today’s section deals with ‘the writing on the wall.’ It is a simple one-scene story about how a sacrilege (the use of temple vessels for secular needs) is dealt with swiftly by God. Only Daniel was able to interpret the meaning. Nebuchadnezzar’s reign has been found wanting. It will end and be replaced by a new kingdom.
The cost of discipleship is again stressed in the Gospel. The disciples have to be clear in their minds that they will be hounded and persecuted. Therefore, the need for perseverance is crucial.
Thursday 26th November: Thursday of the 34th week of the year.
Today’s reading brings us to the familiar story of Daniel in the lions’ den. Daniel had been caught praying after the king passed a law forbidding it. Once he realised that no harm was coming to Daniel, he believed in the God of Israel whom Daniel worshipped. He gave orders that this was to be the God of Israel and the only God to be worshipped.
More desolation is described in the passage from Saint Luke’s Gospel. Eventually however, the Son of man, Christ himself, will come with power and glory. This is a sign that our liberation is near at hand. We should keep our heads raised in hope.
Friday 27th November: Friday of 34th week of the year.
For the last ordinary days of the Church’s year, we read from one of the apocalyptic visions of Daniel. Today we hear of the four beasts that brought great misery to the people. In the end, they are destroyed by one who is filled with wisdom and goodness. Evil is destroyed by good.
In the Gospel, Jesus teaches us to use nature to help see that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. The clear statement is given – ‘Stay awake.’
Jesus reminds us to use nature, such as the life history of a fig tree, to help us to see that the Kingdom of God is close at hand.
Saturday 28th December: Saturday of the 34th week of the year.
The vision continues. The beasts referred to yesterday represent the various evil kingdoms that had tried to conquer Israel. They will be destroyed and replaced by a new kingdom, based on God’s sovereignty. The power of God will prevail.
For the past week, the ordinary daily readings have been looking at the teachings Jesus presented just before his arrest and crucifixion. Watch and pray. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.
Luke has left us a complete guide to the Christian life, where the accent falls on the important things. He does not cut corners or mince his words.
Hail Redeemer, King Divine,
Priest and Lamb, the throne is thine,
King whose name creation thrills
Rule our minds our hearts our wills.
Angels, saints and nations sing,
Praised be Jesus Christ our King,
Lord of Life, earth, sky and sea,
King of Love on Calvary.