MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HARTFOR THE SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KINGAT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE,ON SUNDAY, 20 NOVEMBER 2011 AT 11AM.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King knowing that he has come as our Redeemer and will certainly come as our judge at the end of our life and at the end of time.
In acknowledging Jesus as Lord of our life we are challenged to live our life as befits those who await the call by Christ, the Good Shepherd.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
The Gospel we have just read confronts us with the knowledge that we will most certainly die and that our recognition will be to the extent we have fed the hungry, nourished the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, visited the sick and aided the prisoner.
If Jesus is the Lord of our life raised from the dead, who breaks the power of evil and is to be King of our hearts, he must also be King of our lives.
Through his Church Jesus shows himself to be the Good Shepherd who leads us to true pastures. The Readings, however, say more than this. They challenge us to keep a clear vision of Christ every day of our lives. His own resurrection is so that we who have been configured to him in Baptism may rise again to eternal life and may rise in the general resurrection on the last day. Death and the subsequent personal judgement are the greatest reality of our lives. Jesus himself passed through death to resurrection. He invites us through the lives we lead to prepare for both death and newness of lives.
William Barclay says this: “This is one of the most vivid parables which Jesus every spoke and the lesson of it is crystal clear. The lesson is this – that God will judge us in accordance with our reaction to human need. God’s judgement does not depend on the knowledge we have amassed, nor the fame that we have acquired, or the fortune that we have gained, but on the help that we have given. The simple things listed in the Gospel show us that in giving of ourselves we must be quite uncalculating, taking people as they are and seeing that if we do give help it is given to Christ.”
In the Prayer after Communion we ask that Jesus will help us to live by his Gospel and bring us to the joys of his kingdom. This, of course, will mean that we need to have the vision of his kingdom here on earth, to be united with him in heart and mind through prayer and this in itself will be peace-giving. Christ the Good Shepherd will certainly watch over us, bringing back the lost and the stray, strengthening the weak and bandaging the wounded, but he will only do this through people and therefore our example is important.
Today on this great feast as we honour Jesus as Lord and Saviour, let us acknowledge the importance of being one with him in mind and heart and being the instruments of his care, glory and peace among those with whom we share our lives. Only if the Lord is our Shepherd, then we will want nothing.
+ Denis J. Hart,ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.