Sunday November 20th 2011 Christ The King

This Sunday is the feast of Christ The King, and is also the last Sunday of Ordinary Time and the end of the Liturgical year. The following Sunday sees the first Sunday of Advent and our preparations for Christmas begin.
My reflections on this feast from last year are here 
Scripture readings for Sunday's Mass are here along with a variety of reflections.

The following is taken from Richard Rohr ....
"If we try to make the church into the kingdom of God, we create a false idol that will disappoint us. 
If we try to make the world itself into the kingdom, we will always be resentful when it does not come through. 
If we make a later heaven into the kingdom, we miss most of its transformative message for now.  
We are not waiting for the coming of an ideal church or any perfect world here and now, or even for the next world.  The kingdom is more than all of these.  It is always here and not here.  It is always now and not yet.  No institution can encompass it.  That is rather clear in the texts where Jesus describes the kingdom.
All false religion proceeds in a certain sense from one illusion. 
When people say piously, “Thy kingdom come” out of one side of their mouth, they need also to say, “My kingdom go!” out of the other side.  
The kingdom of God supersedes and far surpasses all kingdoms of self and society or personal reward."
- Richard Rohr (Preparing for Christmas)

The Gospel from Matthew on Sunday carries a potent message for us all to hear and act on.

These formidable Gospel warnings can often paralyse me.
But in the first reading from Ezekiel and in the beautiful Psalm, The Lord is My Shepherd, I can see a different perspective of how Christ, the only true King of Kings entices me, first with the love of a true shepherd who tends and rescues me when I scatter.

"The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal."

If I believe that Christ truly is the Alpha and The Omega of all existence, then in His love rests all I ever need to be and all I am capable of doing for others flows from the grateful acceptance of that love...

More from Richard Rohr who explains how God's love comes first which then becomes a catalyst for action. 

"Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. 
In fact, God loves you so that you can change. 

What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change is the experience of love.

It is that inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change. 

If the mystics say that one way, they say it a thousand ways. But because most of our common religion has not been at the mystical level, we’ve been given an inferior message—that God loves me when I change (moralism).

What that does is put it back on you. You’re back to “navel-gazing,” and you never succeed at that level. You are never holy enough, pure enough, refined enough, or loving enough. 

Whereas, when you fall into God’s mercy, when you fall into God’s great generosity, you find, seemingly from nowhere, this capacity to change. 

No one is more surprised than you are. You know it is a gift."
By Richard Rohr, taken from Following The Mystics Through The Narrow Gate.

This is a lovely version of The Lord Is My Shepherd

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