Hymns for Mass – Press Here

FIRST READING (His dominion is an everlasting dominion.)

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Daniel (7:13-14)

As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, the one like the Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed. —The Word of the Lord.

R. Thanks be to God.


R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty. (Ps 93:1a)

The Lord is king, in splendor robed; robed is the Lord and girt about with strength. (R)

And he has made the world firm, not to be moved. Your throne stands firm from of old; from everlasting you are, O Lord. (R)

Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed; holiness befits your house, O Lord, for length of days. (R)


SECOND READING (The ruler of the kings of the earth has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father.)

A reading from the Book of Revelation (1:5-8)

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, Jesus Christ is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes, Amen. “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.”—The Word of the Lord.

R. Thanks be to God.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! (R)


GOSPEL (You say I am a king.)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (18:33b-37)

Pilate said to Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” —The Gospel of the Lord.

R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


“Thy Kingdom Come!” 

With today’s feast of Christ the King, we come to the end of another church year. The picture of Christ the King that we are given in our readings is a powerful and majestic one. On this Solemnity we honor the Lord Jesus as a King whose Kingdom isa eternal in time, universal in scope, and very personal in its power. 

Our readings describe an enthronement in heaven. In our first reading from Daniel, he found all around him the brutality of dictatorships, exile, enslavement, corruption, cultural confusion and degradation. The world for Daniel was out of control. But Daniel’s faith and trust pointed him towards God as the place to find spiritual security and salvation. Daniel tells of the mysterious Son of Man, with whom Jesus would later identify as himself, coming on the clouds, glorified by God and given dominion that will last forever.

In the reading from Revelation, the Risen Christ comes amid the clouds as the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last of all things. These cosmic images have very little to do with royal rule as we know it. 

Christ’s enthronement in heaven recalls elements of an ancient Near Eastern myth of creation. In that story, after the cosmic warrior-god defeated the monster of chaos and established order in the universe, this god was enthroned in a palace constructed for him in the heavens. From this throne he ruled over all creation. Ancient Israel reshaped this myth, casting GOD in the role of victorious king. And this is the background to today’s Psalm that praises the majesty of the creator-god. 

As they did with so much of ancient Israelite tradition, the New Testament writers reinterpreted the story from a Christian perspective. And so, while the Christian reinterpretation of this cosmic drama shares many characteristics of the ancient sources, there are many significant differences. Christ certainly overcame the power of evil and chaos. He did it – not through force of arms – but by emptying himself of all divine privilege, He “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Phil. 2:6-7). Christ Jesus endured bitter suffering and ignominious death. He is indeed enthroned over all. However, he won this distinction, not through the conquest of another, but through the shedding of his own blood. 

It is of this rule that Jesus speaks in the Gospel, when he asserts that his kingdom “does not belong to this world.” He emptied kingship of its conventional significance and gave his reign a new meaning. He rules through service of others, rather than through domination of them. His authority is rooted in TRUTH, not in physical force. When Jesus stated that his kingdom was “not of this world,” he did not mean that it was not IN this world. He constantly calls people to live lives of justice and compassion, understanding and generosity. His kingdom, the reign of God, is based on the Beatitudes, not on some of the principles that seem to have such a hold over modern society.

Apocalyptic is an apt way of describing the “otherworldliness” of Jesus’ rule. While its somewhat exotic character seems to carry ujs out of space and time, it really invites us into a deeper dimension of reality, one beneath the surface. Apocalyptic may include descriptions of frightful disasters, but the disasters are always resolved, and good triumphs over evil – just as we saw in the ancient story of the primeval victory over chaos. In other words, the apocalyptic message is one of HOPE.

These apocalyptic readings have deep significance for the feast of Christ the King, for the end of the liturgical year, and for the world in which we find ourselves today.  First, they remind us of the nature of the authentic rule of Christ. It is a rule of victory through self-giving. It is a rule where authority springs from truth. Whenever we follow the example set before us by Christ, we participate IN this world, in the reign of God that is NOT OF this world. The liturgical year is a kind of journey through the mysteries of salvation. The end of the year which we mark today brings us to the end of the journey, and here we find the victorious Christ enthroned in glory. In faith we believe that he has already conquered the forces of sin and death, and he is already enthroned with God. IN anticipation, we look forward to his final glorious appearance and the end of time.

How is this theology and vision relevant today? So much in this world could lead to nihilism and hopelessness. Besides the usual pitfalls that we always find on the path of life, today we have come to realize that in no place in our world are we really safe and secure. Our confidence in both religious and political leadership has been shaken – shaken deeply more than ever in recent memory due to all we have experienced in the last two years or so. Joe security has collapsed; poverty has eaten away the very fabric of many communities; crime seems to increase and be rampant; we fear meeting family and friends; we dread news of viruses and quarantines. For many, circumstances seem to be going from bad to worse .

This feast of Christ the King with its apocalyptic themes could not come at a better time. These themes remind us that the battle has already been won: Christ is really triumphant. Now it is up to each and every one of us to make his reign present in our world, as we pray so often: THY KINGDOM COME! 


CelebrantWith glory and eternal sovereignty, the Father has established his incarnate Son as King of the universe. Trusting his power and providence, we bring our needs before him.

READER: That the Catholic Church may continue to draw people into a kingdom not of this world, (Pause) LET US PRAY TO THE LORD.

READER: That great and powerful nations may reject arms competition and conflict and eek true peace among nations, (Pause) LET US PRAY TO THE LORD.

READER: That those who possess nothing in this world may inherit the richness of Christ’s Kingdom, (Pause) LET US PRAY TO THE LORD.

READER: That Christ may truly reign, not only in our hearts, but in our society, (Pause) LET US PRAY TO THE LORD.

READER: As we close this month dedicated to the poor souls in purgatory, we pray for all our beloved, that they be in the presence of the Redeemer and reign in happiness with him, (Pause) LET US PRAY TO THE LORD

READER: For the prayers we carry in our hearts today, (Pause) LET US PRAY TO THE LORD

CELEBRANT: Father of our Lord and King, as we pray for the peoples of this world, give each of us the courage to stand loyally by Christ and his Church, Through Christ, our Lord, (all) AMEN. 

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