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This Week's Liturgy

King of the Jews

November 20th, 2016 (see other dates)

Our Lord Jesus Christ the King

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

What comes to your mind when you think of a king? Do you think of the sad story of foolish and greedy King Midas? (Perhaps someone in your group knows this story and can tell it.) Do you think of someone rich and powerful? What do you think would be good about being ruled by an all-powerful king? What do you think would be not so great about that?

Reading 1 2 Samuel 5:1-3

Reading 1 Reflection

In today's reading we see the tribes of Israel coming to make David their king. Called by God to lead the chosen people, David had been a shepherd, musician, military hero, and respected leader of his people. Now he would rule as king and make the Israelites secure against their enemies.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

We do not think of kings as suffering very much. Kings usually seem to have the best of everything. However, sometimes kings choose to share the suffering of their people. For example, the Queen Mother of England (Queen Mary, the mother of the current Queen Elizabeth II) could have left her home, Windsor Castle in London, for a safer place when England was being bombed during World War II. She insisted that the royal family stay in London with their people even though it was very dangerous. The people of London never forgot this courageous decision. This is one reason why the people still honor the memory of the Queen Mother today because they loved her and respected her courage. Jesus is king of the whole world, and our king. How did he share our lives, our joys, and our suffering? How do you respond to Jesus' love for you?

Reading 2 Colossians 1:12-20

Reading 2 Reflection

On this feast of Christ the King, we read a tribute to Jesus Christ as the supreme ruler of all creation. In Christ, everything and everyone are reconciled. He is the head of the Church and the One who holds everything "in being." The second reading reminds us to be grateful that we are loved and saved by such a king.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

"Greater love than this no one has, that he give up his life for his friend." We might say, "Greater love than this no king has, that he give up his life for his people." This is the kind of king Jesus was and is. Now he is a Risen King, and we rise with him each day?every time we respond to grace in our lives, every time we imitate our king by overcoming evil with good. What can you do this week to be like Christ the King in love, in forgiveness, in generosity, in works of peace and justice?

Gospel Luke 23:35-43

Gospel Reflection

As we celebrate the last Sunday of the Church year, Luke's Gospel leaves us with a "holy picture" to remember and cherish. It is a crucifixion scene. Above the head of Jesus, a sign proclaims: "This is the king of the Jews." The soldiers and most of the crowd think that the sign is a bad joke. But a criminal who is hanging in a cross next to Jesus senses the truth about him. "Remember me when you enter upon your reign," he prays. And the King responds, "This day you will be with me in paradise."

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

Christ the King Crowns

Each child will make a crown to celebrate the feast of Christ the King. Provide each child with a pattern of a crown. Have them cut along the zigzag line and staple the two pieces together to make a crown. Provide sequins, stickers, paint, markers, etc. for the children to use to decorate their crowns. Have the children wear their crowns as they sing the song, Christ Our King, in celebration of the feast of Christ the King.

Christ Our King Song

(Sing to the tune of Frere Jacques)

Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ
Is our king;
Is our king.

He rules with peace and justice.
He gives life to all people.
We praise Him.
We praise Him.

Let us worship,
Let us worship,
Christ our king;
Christ our king.

As king he shows the way,
The truth, and the life.
We praise Him.
We praise Him.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

Recognizing the King

Most people who saw Jesus on the cross could not recognize him as a king. In today's world, many have trouble recognizing this same king in the faces of starving children, neglected elderly people, overworked parents, and troubled youth. Like the "good thief" at Calvary, we have to look with the eyes of faith and reach out in love to the "King Jesus" hidden in every person. Tell how you can honor or serve the Lord in one or more of the following:

  • starving children
  • neglected elderly
  • overworked parents
  • troubled youth
  • homeless persons
Do your parish or neighborhood programs or groups seek to meet some of these needs? Which ones? How can you help? Doing small things can help. An old Chinese saying reminds us: "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."

Coming Full Circle

We made it! The liturgical journey we began last fall with the First Sunday of Advent has brought us full circle to the feast of Christ the King. Along the way, we have made God's word our own by trying to live it week-by-week. What season or Sunday was most meaningful for you? What readings or messages have made a lasting impression? Which of your responses to the readings helped you most to grow as a Catholic?

On a piece of paper, draw a large circle. At the top, write "The Liturgical Year." In the circle, write the seasons: Advent, Christmas, Lent, the Triduum, Easter, Ordinary Time. Choose one season that you appreciated most, or lived more meaningfully, because you took the time to read and discuss the Scriptures each week. How do you hope to celebrate that season with the Church in the coming liturgical year?

What celebration are you looking forward to? Why?

For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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