Today, as we contemplate Christ our King, we are given the account, in the Gospel of Luke, of Jesus on the cross. The religious leaders and the soldiers are jeering and telling Jesus to save himself. Even one of the criminals hanging on a cross is telling Jesus to “Save yourself and us.” Interestingly the other criminal, as Sister Mary McGlone tells us in her reflection, “became the gospel’s final and perhaps most unanticipated model disciple.” Sister continues:
Like the humble tax collector of Jesus’ parable on prayer, his focus was on God and the blameless man who shared his fate. Unlike anyone else in the scene, he perceived God’s presence in the innocent victim by his side. This criminal alone grasped the mystery that the King of the Universe was powerful enough to lay down his life, trusting only in God. Understanding this he could turn to Jesus and pray, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He was perhaps the only person present at that moment who desired a place in Jesus’ kingdom, and thus he was a comfort to Jesus even as Jesus promised him salvation.
On this Solemnity of Christ our King we are shown the God who wielded the power of merciful love as the only option to a world of violence, division and death. This image of Christ the King demands a response from us. We either ask to be a part of his reign of we choose to try to save ourselves.
As we meditate on what it means to call Christ our King we understand the insight of the criminal who didn’t ask Jesus to work any more of a miracle than to love him beyond death. He understood that Jesus needed no saving. He realized that Jesus wasn’t seeking an escape because the cross revealed who he was as the Word made flesh, in solidarity with humanity and trusting the Father. This criminal, one of the most wretched of humankind, understood that God was by his side.
The Feast of Christ the King of the Universe is a celebration of God’s reconciling love, of divine solidarity with humanity, of God’s love for us at our neediest. The image of Christ the King on the cross proclaims God’s presence with us in our most wretched moments, offering us a love and salvation we could not deserve at our best. This is the feast of the indomitable power of love. (Taken from Celebration)
We will be having a Mass of Thanksgiving on Tuesday, November 22nd, at 7:00 p.m. Bring food for Lee’s Summit Social Services. If you can’t bring food Tuesday, bring it next weekend. Sharing food with those who are in need is a good way to say thanks to God.
Bishop Johnston is coming to our parish on Sunday, December 4th at 7:00 p.m. to share a reflection with us. I encourage you to come and hear the wisdom of our bishop.