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Pastor's Letter 20231126 - 26 November 2023 - Feast of Christ, the King

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November 26th, 2023

34th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Feast of Christ the King


A Message from Father Michael

Today’s Theme:   “The Leadership Of Our Blessed Lord”

Reflections on Today’s Scripture

(Ezekiel 34:11-17)  God is portrayed, not so much as a judge of His people, but as someone Who cares for them as a Good Shepherd cares for His sheep.  Our King will come among us not with a scepter, but a shepherd’s rod; not with a crown, but a staff; not as a commander of armies, but a seeker of strays; not on a throne, but on a cross; and not with acts of war, but with simple deeds.


(1 Corinthians 15:20-28)  Paul tells us that, at the end of time, Christ will reign as Universal King, having overcome all hostile forces, including death.  He will come among us without edict or royal decrees, not imposing His authority from without, but moving us from within.  By the power of His love, He has overcome sin and death, as will, also, all who believe in Him and in His reign.


(Matthew 25:31-46)  We don’t know how or when the Last Judgment will occur, but we do know upon what the followers of Jesus will be judged.  We will be judged according to the quality of life we have provided for those who are dependent upon us; and those in need, not for the wondrous and difficult feats we have performed.  


Messengers of the King

Oscar Wilde wrote a beautiful story called, “The Happy Prince,” who, during his life has a very sheltered life.  When the prince died, his people erected a statue of him in the main square of the capital city.  They covered it with leaves of gold, placed two sapphires for his eyes and a large, red ruby on the handle of his sword.

One cold evening, a little swallow landed at the base of the statue.  As he was resting there, a few drops of water fell on him.  Looking up, he saw that the statue of the happy prince was crying.  

“Why are you crying,” the swallow asked.

“When I was alive, I saw no suffering,” said the prince.  “But from my perch, up here, I can see a lot of unhappiness in the world.  I’d like to help, but I can’t, because my feet are fastened to the pedestal.  I need a messenger.  Would you be my messenger?”

“But I have to fly south for the winter,” the swallow replied.  But the prince implored the bird to stay with him for the night.  “Very well, then.  What can I do for you?”

“In a room, nearby, there is a mother tending a sick child, but she has no money to pay for a doctor.  Take the ruby from my sword and give it to her.”

The swallow removed the stone with his beak and bore it away to the woman, who rejoiced.  The doctor came and her child recovered.  The swallow came back and slept soundly 

The next night, the prince asked the bird to take one of the sapphires from his eyes, and give it to a little match girl down in the square.  She had sold no matches that day and was afraid she would be beaten when she got home.  Once again, the swallow did as he was asked.

As he was running these errands of mercy, the swallow’s own eyes were opened.  He saw how much poverty and suffering there was in the city.  Then he was glad to stay with the prince and be his messenger.  One by one, at the prince’s urging, he stripped off the leaves of gold and gave them to the poor and needy.  

Finally, he arrived back one evening, to find the statue was bare, having been stripped of all its ornaments.  The night was very cold.  Next morning the little swallow was found dead at the base of the statue.  The prince had given away all his riches, but he could not have done so without his faithful messenger, the little swallow.

Christ, our King, gave Himself, totally, while He lived on earth.  Even as He died, He was still giving to those who were receptive.  And from His lofty perch in heaven, He surveys the plight of God’s children on earth.  But, unlike us, He has no human feet to move; no hands to reach out; nor a tongue to speak. He, too, needs messengers.  He needs us.  He need our hands; our feet; and our tongues.  He calls upon us to dispense His riches, not our own—His love; His forgiveness; His mercy; and His Good News.  

Only simple things, that are available to everyone, are involved in helping:  giving a hungry person something to eat, or a thirsty person something to drink; welcoming a stranger; or visiting someone who is sick, or in prison. 

To do things such as these don’t require a person to be wealthy, or especially talented.  All one needs is a warm and willing heart.  Everyone can do something—yes, even a little “swallow.”

We live in a time of dynamic evolution of “prolepsis”—the “here and now, but not yet complete,” time of the Kingdom.  It is the era of the reign of Jesus…the era of His Body, the Church.  In the sacraments, in His Word, in the witness of one another’s faith, we taste eternity.  But, impelled by the spirit, we are moving towards a “time” beyond time; and a “space” beyond space, wherein this present taste of glory shall be fulfilled, eternally.  In that moment, which will be forever, the reign of our Father will have come; His will shall have been “done on earth as it is in heaven.”  

Whenever one recognizes the Light of Christ in the eyes of the hungry; wherever the stranger is taken by the hand of friendship…in these places and in these hearts the Kingship of Christ is established and perpetuated.

May God Richly Bless You!


Praise to the King.docx

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Edited by Father Michael
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