Sunday of Christ the King: Luke 23: 35-43

November 24, 2019


Jesus is on the Cross, nearing his death. After forgiving those who put Him on the Gibbet, he faces still with the ridicule of the people, the mockery of the synagogue rulers, and the contempt of the soldiers. And to add further injury, he hears scorn from the thieves crucified with him. But one of them turns direction.


First, what a lesson in forgiveness. All of us are willing to pardon others when they show some type of repentance or sorrow. Yet, in this event, those watching Christ are not only unrepentant, but continue to condemn Our Lord. Jesus forgives anyways. In the path of Christ we stand called to forgive, pray, and suffer for those who are against us.


Second, Jesus is mocked that he saved others, yet cannot save himself. Our Lord was not suffering to save Himself, but aiming to save those He created. This is a fine doctor of souls, as St Athanasius points out. We do not consider a physician a good one, who carries out his duty when he heals himself. Like a good physician, Our Lord came to heal others. It’s not about Him.


Third, of the thief flanking Jesus, he confesses under great pain. He asks the Savior to remember him when He enters His kingdom. The penitent’s request is granted. How powerful our prayers when professing faith and making our confession while steeped in suffering—at a time when least inclined to do this. Grace proves strong for the agonizing when making faithful appeal.


Heavenly Father, we ask for the grace now, on this Feast of the Christ the King, to move in the Kingship of Our Lord who is the epitome of sacrifice and forgiveness. Grant us the grace to move in this powerful Kingship of suffering to help in the redemption of others. And like the Good Thief, may we make our confession of you strongly and boldly, even in the face of terrific agony.

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