Today’s Solemnity of Christ the King brings the Catholic Church’s liturgical year to a close. Remember all through this Year A that is about to end, we have participated in the life of Christ. We began with the Advent season in which we anticipated the coming of the baby Jesus into our world and our lives. Then we celebrated His birth on Christmas Day from which we participate in His life during the Ordinary Time of the year. From the Ordinary Time, we enter into season of Lent, in which through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, we journeyed with Him in His passion and death. On Easter Sunday and during the Eastertide, we celebrated His resurrection. On Ascension Day, we celebrated His Ascension into Heaven, and after some days, we received the Holy Spirit and its gifts on Pentecost Sunday. After Pentecost, we went back to the season of Ordinary Time, in which the virtues taught by Christ and lived out by His apostles and disciples were revealed and emphasized to us. Then today, the last Sunday of Ordinary Time, we celebrate the Solemnity of Jesus the King of the Universe.

So today’s Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe reminds us of the kingship of Christ and our call to be part of God’s kingdom in the world. This Solemnity also emphasizes that it is our duty to establish the kingdom of God in the world, to actively participate in it, and to proclaim, promote and expand it through our lives and our apostolate in the world. In the first reading, we are reminded that the kingdom of God is centered on Love, as God tells us of his love for us in the Book of Prophet Ezekiel stating that as our Shepherd and King, He will look after us and take care of us like His sheep. Just as a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will he tend his sheep. He will rescue us from every place where we were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. He himself will pasture my sheep; he himself will give us rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost he will seek out, the strayed he will bring back, the injured he will bind up, the sick he will heal, shepherding us rightly.

Saint Paul in his first Letter to the Corinthians, our second reading today, emphasizes that the kingdom of God is founded on Sacrifice as he stated that, “in Christ shall all be brought to life, then in the end, he will hand over the kingdom to his God and Father, and he will destroy every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.”

Then Jesus in today’s gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Matthew reveals to us that the kingdom of God entails Judgement, stating that, ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

So from these readings, we can infer that the Kingship of Christ and His kingdom are centered on Love, a Love that entails Sacrifice, a Love we will be held accountable for on Judgment Day. So since the kingdom of God is centered on Love, entails Sacrifice and Judgement, how are we establishing it in our world today? How are we participating in God’s kingdom in the world? How are we proclaiming, promoting and expanding His kingdom in the world today? We can establish, participate in, proclaim, promote and expand God’s kingdom in the world today by living out the Corporal Works of Mercy explained by Jesus in the gospel reading. These Corporal Works of Mercy are requirements to attain His kingdom, as Jesus stated saying, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ And Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ These corporal works of mercy that will lead us to eternal life are as follows: Feeding the hungry, Giving drink to the thirsty, Clothing the naked, Visiting the imprisoned, Sheltering the homeless, Visiting the sick and Burying the dead.

My dear brothers and sisters, today’s Solemnity is a wake up call for us to acknowledge the kingship of Christ, show our loyalty to Him, establish His kingdom in our world, actively participate in it, proclaim it, promote it and expand it through our lives and our apostolate. So let us renew our relationship with Him by loving Him, the King of Kings, through our love for our neighbors in our practice of the corporal works of mercy.