Homily November 23, 2014 – Last Sunday of Church Year – Feast of Christ the King

The feast of Christ the King actually came about in 1925 by the proclamation of Pius XI. Pius became Pope after the tumultuous years of the late 1800’s and of course the 1900’s and World War one. For centuries, the church had been identified as an earthly power and the Pope as a ruler of a country. ctk concordatThere was a concept that Christ was the emperor of the world. With the fall of the Papal States, the subsequent Popes were just Bishops living in the Vatican under secular rule. Pius set out to change that and eventually established the Vatican as an independent country under the Lateran treaty in 1929. His feast of Christ the King has continued on with the perception of Christ being first above all humankind. Pius was a man of his times and was addressing the times he lived in as best he could. Remember he was faced with communism, fascism and WWII-HITLER-MUSSOLINIthe rise of Hitler in the aftermath of the first world war, and of course Japan in the far East. . It was a treacherous time

All that aside, the politics of that time and even our own time are no more relevant to Jesus’ kingdom than were the politics of his time on earth. As he told Pilate, his kingdom was of another world. Our gospel today has Jesus coming from that world summoning us to his world. ctk christ pilateThis final parable in Matthew clearly sums up who are ready for the kingdom. Truly there are no surprises here. As he come, he separates the sheep from the goats, the good from the bad. What makes the difference? It is the love and care for others that set his sheep apart from the goats. Feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, Clothing those who needed it, welcoming strangers and generally looking out for those who need our care. These are responsible things that all of us are bound to do. Human politics and institutions are subject to caring for all who are their subject. ctk hungryThe most vulnerable most be the first concern. How people are governed is less important than that they have their fundamental needs and taken care of and that they have hope of a life and family together.

Really? How often have we heard this? Do we do believe and do it or just give lip service? The least of all are all around us, not just in far off places. I dare say we pass someone in need everyday, yet we don’t realize or are not open to seeing the need. ctk homelessWhat you did to the least of my brothers, you did to me is probably one of Jesus’ scariest sayings as we can sometimes be so unaware of who is around us and be blind to those who are hurting in body or soul. Yet what we need to do is to live and reach out to all we meet like we like to be met. Be aware, be open, be loving, be ready to most of all listen. Only then will we hear Christ’s call..

Homily December 1, 2013 First Sunday of Advent

Posted in christian, Christianity, church events, ecclesiology, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on November 26, 2013

As we begin December, the new liturgical year begins and the gospels cycle to the readings of year A, with the gospels switching from Luke to Matthew. At the same time the season of Advent begins as we rapidly approach Christmas. Typically you would think that the beginning of a new year would be a big celebration similar to what we do January first. However, the church calendar singles out the theme of Christ’s second coming and the end of the world. Matthew tells us to be watchful and be prepared as like a thief in the night, we have no idea when Christ will come. The expectation of Christ’s return was expected soon by the early Christians, but as Matthew wrote the wars and other signs of the end such as storms stormand earthquakes even including the destruction of the temple had happened and still Christ had not come. Christ’s contemporaries were dieing Certainly death was the end and Christ was there to meet them with his Father. Certainly the message to be prepared and ready always was one that is pertinent even to today. All of us face God’s judgment, but the how and when and the mysteries of time and space and the Spiritual is really beyond our comprehension now save for the eyes of faith. Losing a loved one or even facing death itself is terrifying to some and welcome to others depending on their faith and their disposition to God. michaelangeloHopefully, our earthly life is only a mirror or preparation for a future life. How we are now certainly is going to be what we will be. If we ignore God’s call now, What can we expect for the future. But then, remember that all is not lost. God’s love is never-ending and faithful and is always ready to embrace us. Until the moment we have no more earthly life we can surrender to that love, we can seek forgiveness and still be with Him. The thing is it must be sincere and timely. Procrastination can be dangerous as we could be too late. If we don’t know the day or the hour, why do we wait. When we go to an important event, we go in plenty of time. We prepare and we wait so as to share in all the event’s happenings. Yet, what is more important than our eternal future? What have we done to prepare? If we are living our lives right, then we are prepared and there should be no fear. Only you and your God know your readiness. Only you can judge yourself and only God knows you as well as you know yourself and can judge you also. So today we are reminded to look at ourself and if there is anything we need to change, now is the time and opportunity to do so.