Sunday of Christ the King

This is the last Sunday of the church year, coming at the end of November as the days grow ever shorter. Its Finnish name tuomiosunnuntai (literally: “Judgement Sunday”) reminds us that this world will come to an end and that we await Christ’s return and the last judgement.

The Bible does not tell us its time or place, but we are told that on the last day everyone will be assembled before Christ’s judgement seat. Some will be admitted to eternal life and others will be condemned to hell, to be eternally separated from God.

The readings of the day remind us that Christ is present in the guise of our neighbour. We are called to goodness for the sake of others, not because it makes us better in the eyes of God. We are no less responsible for what we fail to do than for what we do. On the last day, confident in Christ’s resurrection and victory over death, we can safely depend on the grace of God.

Although the day’s theme is serious, it is neither oppressive nor frightening, but rather a celebration of victory. The liturgical colour is green, representing joy and hope. It is followed by Advent Sunday and the beginning of the new church year.

“Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” (Matthew 25:45)

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