Sunday, November 24
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Luke 23: 35 – 43
The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
“He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.”
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
“Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
“Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.”
This last Sunday of the Liturgical Year, before we begin the Season of Advent, is marked as The Feast of Christ the King.
What is so striking about the gospel for this feast is that it comes from the Passion Narrative of St. Luke.
Expecting to see all the pomp centered around a king, we see a king who is on the Cross and dying there. Our king and His Kingship is radically different than what we expect. Why? Because He offers his life for us. He suffers for our sins and restores right order in the universe. In the gospel today it is a sinner hanging next to him that understands that in order to be really saved he must make his act of faith in the one who has the true and everlasting kingdom.
The point of this Sunday is Jesus is a King in the very best, most sacred sense of being a king. A true King who loved the people, watched over them, protected them, took care of them, and then died for them and His Resurrection is His greatest and final gift to each of us for we hope to be in His Kingdom!