This week’s bulletin is available for download in PDF format above.
Today as a Church, we conclude our liturgical year and celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. The Gospel we proclaim shows the great mystery of our faith: In the moment of his crucifixion, Jesus is shown to be King and Savior of all.
As the Church Year comes to an end, the focus is on the future and the fulfillment of the promises God has made to humanity during the course of our history. These promises are summed up in Jesus Christ the King. His kingship, as we know, is far different from any type of kingship humankind has experienced. The nature of Christ’s kingship tells us a lot about who God is for us, and we come to know the nature of that kingship through God’s word found in the Bible as interpreted by the Magisterium of the Church.
Luke’s Gospel has been loaded with surprises: the poor are rich, sinners find salvation, the Kingdom of God is found in our midst. Here we see the greatest surprise of all. We are confronted with the crucified Jesus, whom faith tells us is King and Savior of all. The irony is that the inscription placed on the cross, perhaps in mockery, contains the profoundest of truth. As the leaders jeer, the thief crucified by his side recognizes Jesus as Messiah and King, and finds salvation.
Jesus is King, but not the kind of king we might have imagined or expected. His kingship was hidden from many of his contemporaries, but those who had the eyes of faith were able to see. As modern disciples of Jesus, we, too, struggle at times to recognize Jesus as King.
Today’s Gospel invites us to make our own judgment. With eyes of faith, we, too, recognize that Jesus, the crucified One, is indeed King and Savior of all. What does it mean to claim that Jesus is our Messiah, our King, and our Lord? …that we are to act differently? … to show him our respect?… and to strive to honor him and obey him and serve him at all times? And never more so – some would say – than when he is actually here with us?
Our God, revealed to us in Christ the King, is a ruler who rules by love, caretaking, shepherding, creating and re-creating, and reconciling, but also demanding; demanding of us to live in his image and likeness and to steward the creation with which he has gifted us. Let us now continue in this Eucharistic celebration to give thanks and praise to the Father through the Son and in the Holy Spirit for the King we have been given and, in whom we live in faith, hope, and love.