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Homily of Bishop Crean – Feast of Christ the King – 20th November 2022

Feast of Christ the King

20th November 2022

St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh

“Christ King of our Hearts”

 

Prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Take, Lord and receive all my liberty,

my memory, my understanding,

And my entire will,

All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.

To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.

Give me only your love and your grace,

that is enough for me.

 

It is a simple prayer rich in beauty and depth. In it he prays that Jesus would be Lord of his life and king of his heart.

This aspiration and wish is quite in contrast to the culture of our time with our strong focus and emphasis on personal freedom and choice. It goes against the grain to submit and surrender oneself to a higher purpose and cause, however noble it may be.

The Feast of Christ the King which the Church marks this Sunday draws to a close our liturgical year which began in Advent 2021. Every year brings a new experience to life – personally and otherwise. The world is in a different and difficult place because of the war on Ukraine – we are all touched by it in some way but most of all the Ukrainian people whose displacement and suffering is felt by so many. We are thankful to the generosity of so many who seek to support them in this their hour of need.

A particular sadness of this conflict is the plight of good genuine Christian disciples on both sides. It is tragic to see yet further division on religious grounds. It generates deep wounds of hurt and resentment that are so difficult to bind up and heal into the future.

The Preface of today’s Mass is really rich in wisdom and understanding the Kingship of Christ and the nature of the Kingdom or reign of God.

The Preface is prayed after the Offertory and before the Eucharistic Prayer.

 

PREFACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,

KING OF THE UNIVERSE

 

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,

always and everywhere to give you thanks

Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For you anointed your Only Begotten Son,

our Lord Jesus Christ, with the oil of gladness

as eternal Priest and King of all creation,

so that, by offering himself on the altar of the Cross

as a spotless sacrifice to bring us peace,

he might accomplish the mysteries of human redemption

and, making all created things subject to his rule,

he might present to the immensity of your majesty

an eternal and universal kingdom,

a kingdom of truth and life,

a kingdom of holiness and grace,

a kingdom of justice, love and peace.

The world is in urgent need of peace of an end to conflict that is catastrophic in its destruction of the physical infrastructure not to speak of the devastation of life for so many.

We pray on this festival of the kingship of Christ for the blessing of peace and an end to war. May Christ the ruler of hearts move the hearts and minds of those intent on war to search for a new path for their sake and that of humanity.

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