User's Guide to Sunday

Reflections on forthcoming Mass readings by Tom and April Hoopes.

Sunday, Nov. 23, is the solemnity of Christ the King (Liturgical Year A, Cycle II)

Parish offers “Best Practices” from and for parishes.

The program Discovering Christ is one way to help along that victory Pope Benedict XVI spoke of on this feast in 2006.

Father Eric Arnold, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicot City, Md., in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, told about it. “My parish was richly blessed during Discovering Christ,” he said. It moved his parish “from information to offering inspiration and transformation,” he shared. “It is a relational course designed to bring people into a life-changing encounter with the Lord Jesus.”

Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien recommends Discovering Christ to “young adults on campus and in parishes here in Baltimore.”

The ChristLife web site ( explains how to implement the program and its mix of DVD-based and traditional courses.

Family offers daily encouragement for mothers and prayer resources.

Pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary on the feast of Christ the King. In them, Christ proclaims the Kingdom and manifests its wonders in miracles.

A famous prayer for the day is the “Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King.” Find it in the Faith & Family site’s “Resources” section.


Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17; Psalms 23:1-3, 5-6; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28; Matthew 25:31-46 offers free homily packs for priests.

Our Take

It’s important that we who invested so much energy in the election focus now on Christ the King.

We could be tempted to be like the disciples on the road to Emmaus. They were dejected and demoralized when a traveler appeared with them and asked what they were talking about along the way.

“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him,” they answered. “But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel.”

See the mistakes they made:

1. They made of Christ a mere prophet. They have forgotten that he is the King of the universe who said he and the Father are one; the one Ezekiel speaks of in our first reading and the subject of today’s Psalm. We must remember to have faith despite trials.

2. They focused on the weakness of their community. They were discouraged by the chief priests and rulers who got it wrong. We must remember to focus on Christ’s saving power, not on the inevitable human mistakes.

3. They diminished their hopes in Christ and made them merely political. They said, “We were hoping he would be the one to redeem Israel.” We must remember to see the spiritual battle — not just the political one.

They had much to learn, and Christ taught them. He pointed out how the Law and the prophets pointed to him — and how he is the majestic king Ezekiel foresaw who would judge between the sheep and goats.

How do we bring that Kingdom about?

On the feast of Christ the King in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about Christ’s coming reign — and how to get there.

“The Son will deliver the Kingdom to the Father, and God will finally be ‘everything to everyone,’” he said. “The way to reach this goal is long and admits of no shortcuts: Indeed, every person must freely accept the truth of God’s love. He is love and truth, and neither love nor truth are ever imposed: They come knocking at the doors of the heart and the mind and where they can enter, they bring peace and joy.”

The election campaign is over. But the campaign for Christ, if you will, is far from over. The Register and Faith & Family magazine will bring you information on how to get the word out in the “campaign” that really matters — now more than ever.