|Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio|
This Sunday is the 34th Sunday of Ordinary Time, and as everyone knows, that means it is the Solemnity of Christ the King! This is the last Sunday of the liturgical year. The last day of the liturgical year will be Saturday, November 28, and Liturgical Year 2016 will begin with the First Sunday of Advent, November 29.
I give thanks to God for many things at this time of year, including the joy of living the liturgical calendar, which is such a consolation and guide for one’s spirituality through the seasons of life and the seasons of the year. Each liturgical year is like a whole catechesis of the Christian faith, as well as a kind of microcosm of the entire life of the believer, from birth and baptism to final anointing and death.
The Feast of Christ the King emphasizes themes that were very dear to the Mexican Christeros, the Catholics who rebelled against the Mexican government in 1926-29 in order to preserve their freedom of religion. Thousands died, some after being mocked and tortured. A personal favorite of mine is the young teen martyr Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, who died shouting “Long live Christ the King!” (Viva Christo Rey!)
The example of these martyrs remind us that, finally, every human being will face Christ the King, the one who will pass final judgment on all that has been done in this life. Such is also the them for this Sunday’s readings.
1. The First Reading is Daniel 7:13-14: