Christ the King between the Virgin Mary and St John the evangelist: Pisa cathedral.

In our diocese we have dedicated resources to exploring the meaning of the Second Vatican Council. This year we are reflecting on The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: Sacrosanctum Concilium  [SC]. It is in this church document that we are told the catechumate was to be restored and that the period  ‘is intended as a period of suitable instruction.. sanctified by sacred rites to be celebrated at successive intervals of time’ [SC 64] .

As an RCIA catechist it is a balancing exercise to get the right mix of instruction, prayer and discussion into a session or meeting. But sometimes I wonder if we make it harder work than it needs to be.

A Good Idea

I want to suggest that if we use the 3 year lectionary [lectionary based catechesis ‘LBC’], the ‘instruction’ part becomes much easier and opens up the opportunity to involve others as catechists.

Many of our community have a real love of the scriptures and explore their meaning by way of further study, talks and extensive reading. This is because they want a better understanding for themselves. They offer a pool of helpers to give input on the Sunday scriptures. Use them on a rota basis, for 2 sessions at a time.

The ‘instruction’ received in the session, whether in the week before or after the given Sunday will be reinforced by hearing the scriptures at mass and by the homily. If we add to this liturgical catechesis then we are well on the way to training our catechumens in the Christian life [RCIA 75.1]

Things to do for Christ the King Year B John 18-33b-37

  • This is the last Sunday of the Liturgical season. Perhaps review the liturgical seasons of the past year, with pictures or in words. What about a longer term project by others in the parish: embroider a tapestry of the different Liturgical seasons, or paint a picture gallery.
  • Have a selection of photos (from newspapers and journals or download from the web) of Kings and Queens and political leaders. Try to pick some good rulers  and some not so good. A possible discussion point would be  What makes these people a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ ruler? What qualities do they have? What do they do for their people. How do they rule?
  • Then ask what makes Jesus different? If you contrast John with the synoptic gospels of Mathew, Mark and Luke, John  makes the theological point with Christ saying that he is not a King of this world i.e. Christ’s kingship is not political. A question could be:  In what ways does that make Christ’s kingship more ,or less, relevant  to our  lives?

Other Questions to be explored  include :

  • Who is Christ the King for me, for each of us?
  • Am I on the side of truth? What does ‘truth’ mean to each of us.

The above can be modified  for Enquirers and Catechumens. Within discussion it is a helpful gauge to learn if they believe that Jesus is King, that Jesus was born to be King, that Jesus became Man by design and intention of God the Father; that Jesus is the truth.

In the extended mystagogy period, there is a good opportunity for some interesting moral discussion with our new  catholics on issues around ‘truth’ and what is understood as ‘truth’[eg I am the Way; I am Truth and Life’ [Jn 14:6]. So also can their skills be used in the preparation of the parish for this great feast.  The Olympics isn’t the first to offer a legacy of volunteers, Christianity has long been known for the good works of their volunteers, since its inception.