Christ, the King of the Universe

Reflections on forthcoming Mass readings by Tom and April Hoopes.

Sunday, Nov. 25, is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time — the solemnity of Christ the King. Pope Benedict XVI will create 18 new cardinals on Nov. 24 and present them with their rings at St. Peter’s Basilica today. Curial Archbishop John Foley, and Archbishop Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston are the two Americans among them.

Parish features submissions from parishes of their “Best Parish Practices.” Christ is the King of all cultures. Father John Zimmerman of Our Lady of Peace parish in the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., offers a practical, simple way to give homilies in languages besides your mother tongue. Now he can serve his Spanish-language community by adding a Spanish-language Mass and the possibility of Spanish-language baptisms.

Family provides a selection of king cake recipes (from different countries). Type “king cake” into the search engine. King cakes are also made for Epiphany and Mardi Gras.

Pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary today. In them, Christ proclaims the Kingdom and manifests its wonders in the miracles of each mystery.

A famous prayer for the day is the “Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King.” The easiest way to find it is to Google the title!

Media offers the Glory Story Viva Cristo Rey! (Long Live Christ the King). It’s written by the Register’s Tim Drake and is available in coloring book and audio CD.

Readings Second Samuel 5:1-3, Psalm 122:1-5, Colossians 1:12-20, Luke 23:35-43. provides free weekly homily packs.

Our Take Today’s readings put a crown on the liturgical year, ending the year on a high note before leading us into a new liturgical year with the first week of Advent.

Each Sunday celebration is meant to give us a glimpse of Christ so we can love him more in what we do. Often we learn how to pray or serve better, or we are motivated to repent. This week’s readings seem meant simply to inspire awe.

They really tell the whole salvation story through the figure of Christ the King.

We begin in the Old Testament, when Israel is given David as its king. The Lord tells David, “You shall shepherd my people Israel.”

The people describe their relationship to David by saying, “We are your bone and your flesh.” This is how Adam described Eve, and the turn of phrase foreshadows how Christ will consummate his relationship with us in the Eucharist.

The reading from St. Paul explains that this King isn’t just intimate: He’s cosmic. Paul says astounding things about Christ. He is “the image of the invisible God,” “in him all things hold together,” “in him all fullness was pleased to dwell.”

St. Paul and the Gospel also emphasize that it is on the cross that Christ finally “comes into his Kingdom.”

If you say the Luminous Mysteries today (and you should!), you’ll notice that they also outline the same story of salvation. It’s all there, from the heavenly voice confirming Christ in the first mystery, to the proclamation of the Kingdom and its consummation in the institution of the Eucharist.

How appropriate that, in the United States, a great liturgical feast falls so close to our Thanksgiving Day. There’s nothing for which we should be more thankful than the Kingship of Christ.

The Hoopeses are editorial

directors of Faith & Family magazine