Christ is King of the Universe (Year A)

Posté par diaconos le 18 novembre 2020

You, my flock, behold, I will judge between sheep and sheep

L’image contient peut-être : 4 personnes, texte

Jesus Christ is the king of the entire universe. The history of the festival dates back to 1899, when Pope Leo XIII instituted the universal consecration of mankind to the Heart of Jesus on 11th May. In the same year, the Italian Jesuit Sanna Solaro wrote to all the Italian bishops to sign a petition requesting the institution of a liturgical feast. Forty-nine bishops joined the petition. Another petition was presented to Pope Pius XI after the International Eucharistic Congress held in Rome in the first months of his pontificate, signed by 69 prelates. In 1923, a third petition was presented with the signatures of 340 cardinals, archbishops, bishops and superiors general.

The petition asked : « In order to make reparation for the offences committed to Jesus Christ by official atheism, the Church should deign to institute a liturgical feast proclaiming the sovereign rights of the royal person of Jesus Christ, who lives in the Eucharist and reigns, with his Sacred Heart, in society ». This request was supported by two hundred religious orders and congregations, twelve Catholic universities and petitions signed by hundreds of thousands of faithful throughout the world. There was no lack of objections: according to some, the theme of this feast had already been celebrated at the Epiphany.

# A pastor is a person who exercises management and teaching functions in a Christian church community. The term refers to a Protestant or evangelical minister. It also refers, but in a less institutional sense, to a priest or deacon in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The term refers to the theme of the shepherd in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, and to the identification of Jesus Christ with the image of the Good Shepherd. In the Catholic religion, the word refers to any person charged with the spiritual leadership of a religious community, and is sometimes used to refer to the priest or bishop. In North American English, Northern Germany and the Dutch language, a parish priest is called pastor or pastoor. In some parts of the Protestant churches, women can be pastors. Some evangelical denominations officially allow the ministry of women in churches.

From the book of the prophet Ezekiel

# The parable of the lost sheep, also known as the « parable of the good shepherd » or « of the good shepherd », attributed to Jesus of Nazareth, is found in two canonical gospels of the New Testament. It is reported by Matthew (Mt 18:12-13) and Luke (Lk 15:3-7). It is also found in the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, logion 107. Possible parallels in the Old Testament are Ez 34,6, 12 and Ps 119,176. The parable gave rise to an expression, the « lost sheep », referring, like the « prodigal son » in a parable which follows shortly after in Luke, to the person who goes astray morally, or, again in Luke, to the lost drachma. The first two parables, and sometimes all three, serve as a basis for the considerations developed by theologians and preachers on the need to go and fetch the lost sheep to bring it back into the flock, in the case of involuntary straying, or to welcome the repentant sinner with grace, in the case of voluntary straying.

You, my flock, behold, I will judge between sheep and sheep

Thus says the Lord God : Behold, I myself will care for my sheep and watch over them. As a shepherd watches over the sheep of his flock when they are scattered, so will I watch over my sheep, and I will go and deliver them in all the places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and dark clouds. It is I who will feed my flock, and I who will cause them to rest, says the Lord God.
I will seek the lost sheep, and I will bring them back. I will heal the wounded. I will make the sick sheep strong again. I will keep the fat and strong one and feed it according to the law. And you, my flock, thus says the Lord God, behold, I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats. (Ez 34, 11-12.15-17).

The true shepherd of his people

The Lord, the true shepherd of his people, intervenes to put an end to this state of affairs and finds a better one: « God heard their lamentations and remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God looked at the children of Israel and had mercy on them » (Exodus 2:24-25). He looked for them and took effective measures to bring them out of that state.

God himself will do what previous leaders did not think of; he will remedy all forms of physical and moral misery. But for this he will still have to exercise order within the nation itself. For there were not only kings of evil in Israel, there were also rich and powerful members of the people who oppressed others. They are what Ezekiel calls the big and strong. The Lord will treat them justly.

Between the weak and sick sheep and the fat and strong sheep – rams and goats; do not translate as if there were: between rams and goats; for these two terms apply only to the second class of sheep, the fat and strong sheep. In Hebrew, the word used here for sheep is very generic, it includes all small cattle, goats and sheep, male and female.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

 Links to other Christians websites

◊ Friamusings : click here to read the paper →   Christ the King

◊Theology for the common man   : click here to read the paper →  Christ the King of the Universe A Year

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

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