JOKES OF THE WEEK

# 1: Christ is in charge:

Susan C. Kimber, in a book called Christian Woman, shares a funny piece of advice she received from her little son: “Tired of struggling with my strong-willed little son, Thomas, I looked him in the eye and asked a question I felt sure would bring him in line: ‘Thomas, who is in charge here?’ Not missing a beat, he replied, ‘Jesus is, not you, Mom.’ ”

# 2: Sleep-inducing sermon on Christ the King:

“I hope you didn’t take it personally, Father,” an embarrassed woman said to her pastor after the Holy Mass, “when my husband walked out during your sermon on Christ the King.”

“I did find it rather disconcerting,” the pastor replied. “It’s not a reflection on you, Father,” she insisted. “Ralph has been walking in his sleep ever since he was a child.”

# 2: Co-pilot Christ the King:

Many people love bumper sticker theology. Bumper stickers may not always have the soundest theological statements, but they generally at least have the ability to make us think. One such, “God is my Co-pilot,” has also been found on Church signs, where the theology is just as much fun and sometimes sounder. In this case, the Church sign says, “If Christ the King is your Co-Pilot, change seats.”

BONUS: Sunday Connections & Illustrations
w/ Videos

Archive from previous weeks.

HOMILYILLUSTRATIONSMESSAGESCOMMENTARY

Fr. Tony’s 8-Minute Homily

Christ the King Sunday (A)

Fr. Tony’s Homily (everything on one page)

Introduction

Today’s Scripture Readings revolve around the Last Judgment scene of Jesus Christ coming in glory and power. It was Pope Pius XI who brought the Feast of Christ the King into the liturgy in 1925 to bring Christ as Ruler, and Christian values, back into lives of Christians, into society, and into politics.

The Feast was also a reminder to the totalitarian governments of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin that Jesus Christ is the only Sovereign King. Although Emperors and Kings now exist mostly in history books, we still honor Christ as the King of the Universe by enthroning Jesus in our hearts, surrendering our lives to God.

This feast challenges us to see Christ the King in everyone, especially those whom our society considers the least important, and to treat each person with the same love, mercy, and compassion Jesus showed.

Starter Anecdote(s)

Select one or two of the following illustrations to insert here. View more by clicking on the “ILLUSTRATIONS” tab above. Feel free to insert more throughout the homily if so desired (but this should not be overdone).
Illustration A — Service

Service

Polycarp, the second century bishop of Smyrna, was arrested and brought before the Roman authorities. He was told if he cursed Christ, he would be released. He replied, “Eighty-six years have I served Him, and He has done me no wrong; how then can I blaspheme my King, Jesus Christ Who saved me?” The Roman officer replied, “Unless you change your mind, I will have you burnt.” But Polycarp said, “You threaten a fire that burns for an hour, and after a while is quenched; for you are ignorant of the judgment to come and of everlasting punishment reserved for the ungodly. Do what you wish.”

Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)
Illustration B — King of Kings
Crucifixion Scene (10:00) — The King of Kings (1927) by Cecil de Mille Silent Movie (clip bookmarked at “Today you will be with me in paradise”

The King of Kings

Although this illustration is primarily for Luke’s Gospel in YEAR C, it can be used in other years if given proper context.

The King of Kings is a silent film directed by Cecil B. De Mille in 1927. It is a religious movie about the last weeks of Jesus on earth, with H. B. Warner starring as Jesus. It was a production acclaimed by world-famed scholars, the press and the public in the U. S. and abroad, as the most ambitious presentation of the final years of the life of Jesus ever pictured on the screen. It was seen by over a billion people all over the world.

De Mille claimed that the most important tribute to the movie he had ever received came from a woman who had only a few days to live. Her nurse wheeled her to a hall in the hospital to see the movie. After viewing the whole movie she wrote to the producer DeMille:

“Thank you sir, thank you for your King of Kings. It has changed my expected death from a terror to a glorious anticipation.” She shared the feelings of the good thief who heard the promise of Jesus: “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Both of them were suffering, both expected death and both received new hope from the dying King of kings for only he could give them what he promised because he is God, the King of kings and Lord of all. –Today, as we celebrate the feast of Jesus, the King of kings, and as his Calvary sacrifice is re-presented on our altar, let us approach our Lord with repentant hearts and trusting Faith in his promise of eternal life.

(Fr. Tony) http://frtonyshomilies.com/
Illustration C — Padre Miguel Pro

Long live Christ the King!

In the 1920s, a totalitarian regime gained control of Mexico and tried to suppress the Church. To resist the regime, many Christians took up the cry, “Viva Cristo Rey!” [“Long live Christ the King!”] They called themselves “Cristeros.”

The most famous Cristero was a young Jesuit priest named Padre Miguel Pro. Using various disguises, Padre Pro ministered to the people of Mexico City. Finally, the government arrested him and sentenced him to public execution on November 23, 1927.

The president of Mexico (Plutarco Calles) thought that Padre Pro would beg for mercy, so he invited the press to the execution. Padre Pro did not plead for his life, but instead knelt holding a crucifix. When he finished his prayer, he kissed the crucifix and stood up. Holding the crucifix in his right hand, he extended his arms and shouted, “Viva Cristo Rey!”

At that moment the soldiers fired. The journalists took pictures; if you look up “Padre Pro” or “Saint Miguel Pro” on the Internet, you can see that picture. (Fr. Phil Bloom)

Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)

Scripture Lessons Summarized

Fr. Tony’s unabridged edition for this section can be found by clicking on the “COMMENTARY” tab above. Feel free to include more detail if so desired.

The first reading, taken from the Prophet Ezekiel, introduces God as the Good Shepherd reminding us of Christ’s claim to be the Good-Shepherd-King, leading, feeding and protecting his sheep.

In today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 23), we rejoice in Jesus, who is our Good Shepherd.

In the second reading, St. Paul presents Christ as the all-powerful Ruler-King Who raises the dead and to Whom every form of power and authority must eventually give way.

Today’s Gospel describes Christ the King coming in Heavenly glory to judge us, based on how we have shared our love and blessings with others through genuine acts of charity in our lives. Jesus is present to us now, not only as our Good Shepherd leading, feeding and healing his sheep, but also as dwelling in those for whom we care. In the parable of the separation of the sheep from the goats at the Last Judgment, every person to whom we give ourselves, “whether hungry, thirsty or a stranger, naked, sick or in prison,” is revealed to us as having been the risen Jesus. Our reward or punishment depends on how we have recognized and treated this risen Jesus in the needy.

Life Messages

Fr. Tony’s unabridged versions can be found by clicking on the “LIFE MESSAGES” tab above. Feel free to include more detail if so desired.

1) We need to recognize and appreciate Christ’s presence within us and surrender our lives to Christ’s rule: Since Christ, our King, lives in our hearts with the Holy Spirit and His Heavenly Father and fills our souls with His grace, we need to learn to surrender our lives to Him, live in His Holy Presence, and do God’s will by sharing His forgiving love with others around us. Aware of His presence in the Bible, in the Sacraments, and in the worshipping community, we need to listen and talk to Him.

2) We need to learn to be servers: Since Christ was a Servant-King we are invited to be His loyal citizens by rendering humble service to others and by sharing Christ’s mercy and forgiveness with others. 3) We need to use our authority to support the rule of Jesus. This feast is an invitation to all those who have power or authority in the public or the private realms to use it for Jesus by bearing witness to Him in the way we live. Parents are expected to use their God-given authority to train their children in Christian ideals and in the ways of committed Christian living.

3) We need to accept Jesus Christ as the King of love. Jesus. who came to proclaim to all of us the Good News of God’s love and salvation, gave us His new commandment of love: “Love one another as I have loved you,” (Jn 13:34), and demonstrated that love by dying for us sinners. We accept Jesus as our King of love when we love others as Jesus already loves us — unconditionally, sacrificially and with agape love.

Freedom Rider Hank Thomas shares his story of riding the bus from Anniston Alabama, challenging the segregation laws at the time.

Fr. Tony’s Illustrations

Christ the King Sunday (A)

Click here for more of Fr. Tony’s illustrations

Freedom Riders

Recently I heard someone tell a story about the experiences of the Freedom Riders in the American South during the ’50s and ’60s and their struggle for civil rights. The story was a vivid illustration of how life changes when Jesus has the last word, when Jesus is King.

When the Freedom Riders traveled through the South staging their sit-ins and marches and protests, they were often arrested and jailed. The guardians of racial segregation and the status quo were not going to let them have the last word. While in jail, the Freedom Riders were often treated poorly and brutally in order to break their spirits. They were deprived of food or given lousy food. Noise was blasted and lights were flashed all day and night to keep them from resting. Sometimes even some of their mattresses were removed in order that all would not have a place to sleep.

For a while it seemed to work. Their spirits were drained and discouraged, but never broken. It happened more than once and in more than one jail.

Eventually the jail would begin to rock and swing to sounds of Gospel singing. What began as a few weak voices would grow into a thundering and defiant chorus. The Freedom Riders would sing of their Faith and their freedom. Sometimes they would even press their remaining mattresses out of their cells between the bars as they shouted, “You can take our mattresses, but you can’t take our souls!”

The Freedom Riders were behind bars in jail, but they were really free. They were supposed to be guilty, but they were really innocent. They were supposedly suffering, but they were actually having a great time. They were supposedly defeated but they were actually victorious. Why? They may not have said it, but they could have: because Jesus has the last word, because Christ is King!

[Steven E. Albertin, Against the Grain — Words for a Politically Incorrect Church, (CSS Publishing); quoted by Fr. Tony Kaila.] (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)

Recognizing the King in disguise

The story is told of Saint Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), observing a novice using tweezers to pluck maggots from the leg of a dying leper. The young woman stood at arm’s length to perform the odious task. Gently but firmly, Mother Teresa corrected her charge.

Taking the tweezers and putting her face quite near the wound, she said, “You don’t understand, my dear. This is the leg of Christ our Lord. For what you do to this man, you do to Him.”

Or again, Leo Tolstoy’s story, “Martin the Cobbler,” tells of a lonely shoemaker who is promised a visit by our Lord that very day. Eagerly all day he awaits his arrival. But all that come are a man in need of shoes, a young mother in need of food and shelter, a child in need of a friend, all of whom he helps.

Martin the cobbler ends the day thinking, “Perhaps tomorrow He will come,” only to hear a voice reply, “I did come to you today, Martin; not once, but three times.”

Christ is a King who goes about in disguise as the poor, the sick, the cripples, the tortured, the marginalized.

Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)

Super Savior

A Church in Ohio did it with a large icon–a 62-foot-tall statue of Jesus with upraised arms, installed in a cornfield just north of Monroe, Ohio on Interstate 75. The statue–dubbed “Super Savior”– was erected by the Solid Rock Church, in Middletown.

Here is what is interesting. Traffic fatalities on this notorious stretch of road have dropped dramatically since the Super Savior statue was raised. Is that pure coincidence, or has the Styrofoam and fiberglass Christ really aided road safety? Nobody knows. [Dr. John Bardsley. Source: National Catholic Reporter (10-28-2005), p. 3.]

Certainly a giant statue of Christ does no harm, and if it improves traffic, that’s fine. But do not be confused. This is not the best way to express our allegiance to Christ. The best way to express our allegiance to Christ is to make our lives worthy of the name Christian.

(E- Priest) Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)

Feast of Christ the King

In 1925, Pope Pius XI wanted people to know that this was Christ’s world, not the property of the emerging dictators of that day. Both Josef Stalin in Russia and Benito Mussolini had been in power for three years. Adolf Hitler had been out of jail only a year, and was finding great popular support for his fledgling Nazi party. The Pope had the courage of his convictions to declare, despite dictators, that Christ was King, reminding Christians where their ultimate loyalty lay!

From a sermon by Don Friesen, Ottawa Mennonite Church. Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)

“You’re with Him; go on in”

A few years ago, Pastor Erwin Lutzer and his daughters were visiting Washington, D.C. While there, they met a man who served on former President Bush’s Secret-Service security team. The gentleman offered to give them a guided tour of the Oval Office.

Pastor Lutzer and his daughters passed through many security checkpoints the next day on the way to the Oval Office. At each checkpoint, they expected to be searched and questioned. But instead, the guards took one glance at the Secret-Service man and announced, “You are with him; go on in.”

Pastor Lutzer wrote that he expects our entrance into Heaven will be like that. We will have no credentials of our own that could possibly get us in. But Jesus will be walking along beside us. And at each gate, the angels will take one look at Jesus and announce, “You’re with Him: go on in.”

Erwin Lutzer, “Do Many Paths Lead into God’s Presence?” Preaching Magazine March/April, 2001), p. 20. Fr. Tony (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)

I have nothing more to give

Some years ago divers located a 400-year-old sunken ship off the coast of

Northern Ireland. Among the treasures they found on the ship was a man’s wedding ring. When they cleaned it up, they noticed that it had an inscription on it. Etched on the wide band was a hand holding a heart. Under the etching were these words: “I have nothing more to give you.” Of all the treasures found on that sunken ship, none moved the divers more than that ring and its beautiful inscription. The etching on that ring and its inscription “I have nothing more to give” -could have been placed on the cross of Christ.

Mark Link (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)

Christ the King on the day of Last Judgment:

“Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” A story is told of a priest assigned in a seminary who took his sabbatical year in Kolkata, India to work with Mother Teresa. Towards the end of his sabbatical, he wondered what he could take back to his seminarians.

Thinking back, he remembered how Mother Teresa received Holy Communion: her eyes and face glowed with love for Jesus as she expressed the desire to give him back her love completely. For the priest, that was understandable for she was then already known as ‘a living saint.’ But what he could not understand was what he saw one evening when she was with a sick person. The same glow in her eyes and face was present when she was attending to him.

Reflecting on these two experiences, the priest discovered why. For Mother Teresa, that sick person was Jesus himself for did he not say: “Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Do we see Jesus’ face in others, especially the poor, needy, marginalized, deprived, downtrodden, sick and suffering, and so on? Jesus meets us in their disguise. They are his true face.

(Fr. Lakra) (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)

Life Messages

Christ the King Sunday (A)

We need to surrender our lives to Christ’s rule

Since Christ, our King, lives in our hearts with the Holy Spirit and His Heavenly Father and fills our souls with His grace, we need to learn to live in His Holy Presence, doing His will by sharing His forgiving love with others around us. We need to be constantly aware of His Presence in the Bible, in the Sacraments and in the worshipping community.

(Fr. Tony) (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)

We need to fight against the enemies of Christ’s Kingdom

Terrorism has affected the entire world, including Christ’s Kingdom on earth. These terrorists are people who slaughter the unborn; engage in a frontal attack on the modern family through provocative television shows, movies, music and pornography; eradicate any recognition of God from public display and public schools; they include those priests and the religious who abuse children.  Hence, Jesus, the King, needs convinced apostles prepared and ready to fight against these enemies, first by prayer, then by accepting willingly the sufferings that come our way and offering them to God with Jesus, our King, in reparation for our sins and the sins of the world, and finally by living lives of loving, humble service, using our gifts generously for all.  The battlefield is the heart, the home, the school, the place of employment, the neighborhood, and the parish.  These   provide new and exciting challenges, new opportunities for us to do, ourselves, what is right and to live out the Truth of Jesus Christ our King, neither compromising with sin nor passing judgment on the motives or guilt of any of our brothers and sisters, but loving and praying for all of us. To ensure that Jesus is always the King of our hearts, we need to make a permanent, total commitment to Him and to live out that commitment with the necessary sacrifices, conviction, hard work and daily, serious prayer.

(Fr. Tony) (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)

We need to use what authority we have been given to pass on Jesus’ message

This feast is an invitation to all those who have power or authority in the government, in public offices, in educational institutions and in the family to use it for Jesus. Are we using our God-given authority so as to serve others with love and compassion as Jesus did? Are we using it to build a more just society rather than   to boost our own egos? As parents are we using our God-given authority to train our children in Christian ideals and the committed Christian living we faithfully model for them?

(Fr. Tony) (http://frtonyshomilies.com/)

We need to make Christ the King of our Personal, Familial, Social, and Cultural life

Personal: By allowing Him to be King and center of our heart through prayer, receiving the Sacraments and freely entering a personal relationship with Him;

Familial: By creating a proper rule and servant-leadership in the family – let us have a “king,” a “queen,” “prince” and “princesses” in our home;

Social: By not divorcing ourselves from the state, from legislation and from affecting the social order; and

Cultural: By bringing Christ and His Beauty and Radiance into the living traditions of our community. (Fr. Lombardi).

Conclusion:  The Solemnity of Christ the King is not just the conclusion of the Church year.  It is also a summary of our lives as Christians. On this great Feast, let us resolve to give Christ the central place in our lives and to obey His commandment of love by sharing our blessings with all his needy children.  Let us conclude the Church year by asking the Lord to help us serve the King of Kings as He presents Himself in those reaching out to us.  “To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His Blood and made us a Kingdom, priests for His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Rv 1:5b-6). Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat! Christ conquers! Christ rules! Christ reigns!

Fr. Tony’s Commentary

Christ the King Sunday (A)

Introduction

The first reading presents God as a Shepherd reminding us of Christ’s claim to be the True Shepherd. Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 23) serves as our act of Faith, Trusting Love and thanksgiving offered to Jesus, Who is our Good Shepherd. In the second reading, St. Paul introduces Christ as the all-powerful Ruler who raises the dead and to whom every other power and authority must eventually give way. Today’s Gospel presents Christ the King coming in Heavenly glory to judge us, based on how we have shared our love and blessings with others through genuine acts of charity in our lives. Matthew adds a new dimension to the risen Jesus’ presence in the Christian community in the parable of the Last Judgment. Jesus is present to us now, not only as our Good Shepherd leading, feeding and healing his sheep, but also as dwelling in those for whom we care. In the parable of the separation of sheep from goats in the Last Judgment, every person to whom we give ourselves in loving service, “whether hungry, thirsty or a stranger, naked, sick or in prison,” is revealed to us as having been the risen Jesus. Our reward or punishment depends on how we have loved and served this risen Jesus in the needy.

First Reading

Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15:17

The prophet Ezekiel was consoling the Jews exiled in Babylonia, explaining that their exile had been caused by infidelity and disloyalty to God on the part of their Kings and religious leaders who used their power and authority to exalt themselves. In this passage, Ezekiel prophesied that God would eliminate the “middlemen,” the unfaithful shepherds of His People of Israel, and would Himself become Israel’s Shepherd, leading, feeding, healing, and protecting His sheep. Though the prophet originally was talking about a specific point in Israel’s history in which Yahweh would appear to shepherd the Chosen People, Jesus’ disciples believed that the risen Jesus was with the early Christians, was fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy of God, the Good Shepherd, rescuing, pasturing, seeking, bringing back, and healing his sheep. No longer limited to His earthly body, the risen Jesus continues His loving ministry through such saving actions as we, his Mystical Body, perform them in Him and with His power. Since King David had originally been a shepherd and, since the coming Messiah was widely believed to be a descendant of David, there was already an association of shepherd images with the Messiah.

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28

In his letter to the Corinthian Church, Paul answered the question: “If Jesus is alive among us by his Resurrection, how does he affect our lives?” Many of the Corinthians believed in Plato’s doctrine that human beings were originally pure spirits or souls who lived in the presence of God. They sinned and as punishment they had to carry a human body which they shed at death and thus were liberated to return to their state of happiness. So those Corinthians could not understand how Jesus had been raised with his glorified body. Paul explained to the Corinthians that as God the Father had raised Jesus from the dead, Jesus too would raise those who believed in him. In other words, the first mission of the risen Christ as King is to give us eternal life by raising us from death, thus undoing the primary consequence of the first Adam’s sin. The final mission of Christ the King is to subject all cosmic powers to himself, and then to God his Father.

Gospel

Mt 25:31-46

Context: As John P. Meier (Matthew, Michael Glazier, Inc., Wilmington: 1983) has noted, “the scene of Last Judgment described [in Mt 25:31-46] is not a parable but the unveiling of the truth which lay behind all the parables of chapters 24-25.” For this reason, readers should recognize the scene as one of judgment but also of revelation. Here, Jesus is being revealed as Son of Man in Glory, as the King who judges justly, and the criterion of his judgment is given. The Gospel passage teaches us that the main criterion of the Last Judgment will be the works of Christian charity, kindness and mercy we have done for others, in whom we have actually served Christ, knowingly or unknowingly. The account tells us that Christ, the Judge, is going to ask us six questions, and all of them are based on how we have cooperated with God’s grace to do acts of charity, kindness and mercy for others, because Jesus actually dwells in them. The first set of questions: “I was hungry, thirsty, homeless. Did you give me food, drink, accommodation?” The second set of questions: ”I was naked, sick, imprisoned. Did you clothe me? Did you help me by visiting me in my illness or in prison?” If the answers are yes, we will be eternally rewarded because we have cooperated with God’s grace by practicing charity. But if the answers are negative, we will be eternally punished.

Kingship of Jesus the Messiah in Old Testament. In most of the Messianic prophecies given in the Old Testament books of Samuel, Micah, Isaiah and Jeremiah, Christ the Messiah is represented as a King.

Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the Prophet Micah announced His coming as King. “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrata, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:1).

Daniel presents “One coming like a son of man … to him was given dominion and Glory and Kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away and his Kingship is one that shall never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:3-14).

Kingship of Jesus in New Testament. The New Testament tells us that Jesus is the long-awaited King of the Jews.  In the account of the Annunciation, (Lk1:32-33), we read: “The Lord God will make him a King, as his ancestor David was, and he will be the King of the descendants of Jacob forever and his Kingdom will never end.” 

The Magi from the Far East came to Jerusalem and asked the question: (Mt 2:2) “Where is the baby born to be the King of the Jews?  We saw his star… and we have come to worship him.”

During the royal reception given to Jesus on Palm Sunday, the Jews shouted: (Lk 19:38) “Blessed is the King, who comes in the name of the Lord.”

When Pilate asked the question: (Jn 18:33) “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus, in the course of their conversation, made his assertion, “You say that I am a King.  For this was I born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the Truth. Everyone who belongs to the Truth listens to My Voice” (John 18:37). That Truth, as we know, is that He is God and Sovereign King of all Creation.

The Gospels tell us that the board hung over Jesus’ head on the cross read: “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews,” (Mt 27:37; see also, Mk 15:26; Lk 23:36; John 19:19-20), and that, to the repentant thief on the cross who made the request: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom,” Jesus promised that the repentant thief would be in Paradise with Him that very day. (Luke 23:39-43).

Before His Ascension into Heaven, the Risen Jesus declared: “I have been given all authority in Heaven and on earth” (Mt. 28:18).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “In the Lord’s Prayer, ‘thy kingdom come’ refers primarily to the final coming of the reign of God through Christ’s return.” (CCC 2818, cf. Titus 2:13)

A unique King with a unique Kingdom: Jesus Christ still lives as King in thousands of human hearts all over the world.  The cross is his throne and the Sermon on the Mount is his rule of law.  His citizens need obey only one law: “Love others as I have loved you” (John 15:12).  His love is selfless, sacrificial, kind, compassionate, forgiving, and unconditional.  That is why the Preface in today’s Mass describes Jesus’ Kingdom as “a Kingdom of truth and life, a Kingdom of holiness and grace, a Kingdom of justice, love, and peace.”

He is a King with a saving and liberating mission: to free mankind from all types of bondage, so that we may live peacefully and happily on earth and inherit Eternal Life in Heaven. His rule consists in seeking the lost, offering salvation to those who call out to him, and making friends of enemies.

The Kingdom of God is the central teaching of Jesus throughout the Gospels. The word Kingdom appears more than any other word throughout the four Gospels. Jesus begins His public ministry by preaching the Kingdom. “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:14). In Christ’s Kingdom, “we are all a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (1 Pt 2:9; see also Ex 19:6; Is 61:6).

According to the teachings of the New Testament, the “Kingdom of God” is a three-dimensional reality: the life of grace within every individual who does the will of God, the Church here on earth, and Eternal Life in Heaven.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that the Church is the Kingdom of Christ already present in mystery. It is the mission of the Church to proclaim and establish the Kingdom of Christ in human souls. This mission takes place between the first coming (the Incarnation), and the second coming (the end of this word, with His Final Judgment of all mankind , of Jesus into this world.

The Church helps us to establish in our hearts and souls, Christ’s Kingdom, into which we were incorporated at Baptism by means Sanctifying Grace, that sharing in Divine Life which allows us to participate in God’s inner life. This supernatural Life of Grace, lived out in our daily lives, comes to fulfillment in the Eternal Life of Heaven (CCC #758-780).

Permission granted for the use of the materials on this page for education and homiletical purposes at no charge. If used in writing, please make acknowledgment of the author, Fr. Anthony Kadavil.. For more information, contact Fr. Tony using thecontact form.