Thirty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 25th, 2018

Father Shawn J. Hughes


Homilies are never the creative act of one person.  Thus, in posting these homilies on St. Mary’s Cathedral’s website I would like to state first and foremost that there will be little original in the following. My homilies are a result of my prayer, reading and study as it pertains to the particular gospel of the week. Thus, I beg, borrow and steal from the wisdom of those who have gone before me and together with the Holy Spirit acting in my own prayer considering the needs of our particular parish community here at St. Mary’s, a homily appears by the weekend. If there is something that edifies you I can take no credit for it: ‘tis the result of the work of the Holy Spirit and those from whom I have gleaned wisdom over time. If there is something that you might wish to discuss I am always available and would welcome any opportunity to speak about the Scriptures and/or the Spiritual Life.

God bless you,

Father Shawn


This is what the Kingdom of Christ is all about.  It is our vocation.  Each one of us is called to participate in the Kingdom and to expand it through our thoughts, words and actions.

Today’s solemnity requires us to assess our commitment to Christ the King.   He is not our King if we do not listen to him…if we do not love him; he is not our King if we do not serve him, and he is certainly not our King if we do not follow him.  We belong to his Kingdom only when we strive to walk with him, when we strive to live our lives fully in the spirit of the Gospel and when that Gospel spirit penetrates every facet of our living.  If Christ is really King of my life, he must be King of every part of my life, and I must let him reign in all parts of my life.

You will notice a page in this weekend’s bulletin that replicates a page from Catholic Christian Outreach’s Ultimate Relationship booklet.  It presents in picture form where Christ is in my life becomes very clear.  Is Christ outside of my life, part of my life or the centre of my life?  On this solemnity it is a good examination of conscience:  In regards to my relationships…In the area of love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness with family and friends do I stand under the banner of Christ: completely, partially or not at all?  In terms of patience or judgment of others do I stand under the banner of Christ: completely, partially or not at all. In terms of how I conduct my work or my studies do I stand under the banner of Christ: completely, partially or not at all? In terms of my sexuality do I stand under the banner of Christ: completely, partially or not at all? In my concern for the needy do I stand under the banner of Christ: completely, partially or not at all?

Today’s Solemnity reminds us of the great truth that Christ must be in charge of our lives, that we must give him sovereign power over our bodies, our sexuality, our thoughts, our heart and our will.  In every moral decision we face, there’s a choice between Christ the King and the evil one, the one who seeks to live in Christ’s Kingdom is the one who says, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” , and means it.

So we need to ask ourselves the question, “What does Jesus, my King, want me to do or say in this or that situation?”  Are we praying each day that our King will give us the right words to say to the people we meet that day, words that will make us true ambassadors of Jesus?  Does our home life, the way we treat our spouse and children, as well as the way we conduct ourselves with our friends come under the Kingship of Jesus?  Or are we selfish, trying to please ourselves rather than Him?

Jesus came to “bear witness” to the truth.  Thus, we are called to be a people who do the same:  a people who forgive, a people who will reach out in compassion to the poor, to the marginalized of our society, a people who will support one another in prayer, a people who will realize that we are called to serve, not to be served.

On this solemnity it is good to ask in each area of my life…Do I stand under the banner of Christ…completely, partially or not at all!

…if only partially or not at all…The solution is first to get to Confession … the kingdom of God and the reign of sin cannot exist together…this is so important…the kingdom of God and the reign of sin cannot exist together…and then strive more deeply to follow the teaching of the Church in that area…


Like the time of Pope Pius XI we live in a world that is rebelling against our King.   Unless we are Christians who very actively strive to follow Christ, we will slowly slide into rebellion ourselves.  There is no standing still in the spiritual life.  We are either going forward or going backward.


At the end of this liturgical year this Solemnity calls us to pause and take stalk of our commitment to Christ:  Christ, our King, rules in truth and love. The more deeply we are committed to our serving of others with self-sacrificial and forgiving love, and to seeing those in need around us and caring enough to do something about it…the more profoundly Jesus Christ is King of our lives.




The Chief medical Health Officer of Kingston has ordered that Masks must be worn at all places we gather indoors. That includes us here at the cathedral. We can’t supply everyone with a mask so please come with one. We would have a limited supply available for a loonie at the entrance of the cathedral.
Please read and observe the six key principles outlined below.

1) The key principle is that we come to Mass to worship God. Out of justice and exercising the virtue of religion we must give God what is God’s due. That quite simply is worship, adoration and praise. Thus, the absolute essentials of Mass will be included so that the Sacramental praise of God will take place and we will be exposed to one another for as brief a time as possible.

2) The second key principle is that the health and safety of parishioners, staff and clergy here at St. Mary’s are essential and require our utmost concern and attention. Therefore, the dispensation from the obligation to come to Sunday Mass by Archbishop Mulhall continues to be in effect. Those who are sick, elderly or have other critical health concerns should not come at this time. However, that is left to your discretion. Should you make the choice to come, knowing the risks, you are most welcome.

3) The underlying principle of all of our restrictions in isolating, physically distancing, wearing masks etc. is the common good as we live out the Lord’s commission to “love one another.” We are to care for each other and at this time we are called to be as prudent and careful as we can to protect the health of everyone else and ourselves.
4) The principle for the next few weeks will be brevity. The received scientific wisdom is that the virus spreads within groups who spend a prolonged period of time together. Therefore, we will be reducing the Mass to the bare essentials.
5) Singing is considered more dangerous than speaking so you are asked to please not sing at all throughout the Mass. I will not be singing either.
6) If you have any sickness, are elderly or have a critical illness you should remain at home. The dispensation from the obligation to come to Mass continues through this time of 30% capacity. Of course, if you choose to come you will not be turned away. We will continue to live- stream the Masses until we are back to a more normal arrangement.

The Chief medical Health Officer has ordered that Masks must be worn at all places we gather indoors. That includes us here at the cathedral. We can’t supply everyone with a mask so please come with one. We would have a limited supply available for a loonie at the entrance of the cathedral.
We will pray a shorter Penitential Rite.
The Gloria will be said not sung. There is to be no singing by the congregation during the Mass. Only by a cantor or as we have today a physically distanced choir in the choir loft…3 metres apart.
We will only have one reading followed by the Psalm
The second reading will be omitted.
The choir will sing the Alleluia on Sundays. During the week it will be omitted. Please do not join in.
The Gospel.
A very brief (3-4 minute) homily will follow.
The Creed will not be prayed.
There will be no petitions. Please prepare your own petitions and offer them in your heart during the Mass.
There will be no procession of the gifts.
There will be no regular collections at this time in the Masses. It will happen later. Ushers will be at the doors to receive your offering as you leave.
The Eucharistic Prayer will be prayed. This is the Most Important Part of the Mass.
The Our Father
Sign of Peace. This is a time when we won’t shake hands. Please do not wave to each other or give the two finger sign of peace. Neither of these reflect what is the intention here…You are recognizing the presence of God in the other person and praying they know God’s peace. The most appropriate gesture is a slight bow or nod of the head to the other person. You have seen me do this at the sign of peace to all of you at every Sunday Liturgy.
Please be seated.
Then the ushers will direct you to the place where you will receive Holy Communion. Please do not leave your pew until an usher has indicated you should do so.
Another usher will be close to the Communion Station to receive your Sunday Offering.
When it is your turn to receive Holy Communion. You will stand 6 feet away on the red line. The person distributing Holy Communion will say “The Body of Christ”. You will say “Amen”. Then move forward within arms length and receive the Host. Once you have received go straight out the nearest exit and make your Thanksgiving on your way home.
Aisles 1 & 5 will come forward to receive Holy Communion and leave by the side doors.
Aisles 2, 3 & 4 will go to the back to receive Holy Communion.
Aisle 2 will exit by the exit closest to the rectory.
Aisle 3 will exit out the centre door which you came in
Aisle 4 will exit out the door by the washrooms.
You are strongly encouraged to receive Holy Communion in the hand. Receiving on the tongue endangers the person giving Holy Communion and yourself, the person receiving Holy Communion. If you wish to insist on receiving on the tongue please wait until the very end as the person giving Holy Communion should sanitize their hands after each communicant. The usher will pass you by and will come back to you after everyone else has received. Please don’t leave your pew until that has taken place.