Gospel Reflection: Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Malvern Minute

 

SOLEMNITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE

NOVEMBER 20, 2016

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!

Alleluia, Alleluia.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint 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.”

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

Today, our Liturgical year culminates in this glorious celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.  So then, with grateful hearts we embrace the words of Saint Paul in his Letter to the Colossians (Second Reading):

           Let us give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.  He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved       Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Indeed, Jesus Christ is the power of God; through Jesus Christ, God has delivered us … transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son!

In 1925, with an encyclical entitled Quas Primas (In the First), Pope Pius XI instituted this solemn feast of Christ the King.  With this encyclical and feast, the Church confronted the evil spirits of secularism, the idolatry of man worshipping himself and his physical world as the ONLY reality!  Secularism continues today, and in many ways it has grown stronger as more and more individuals isolate their activities and lives from God.  It appears that man worships only himself, and even Sunday has deteriorated into just another week day … no longer: The Lord’s Day!

Secularism does not have just a passive influence on our culture and society.  In our own time, it has become an aggressive force that desires to push people of faith, especially Christians off to the margins of society, and to remove God from all social consciousness.   Christianity is accused of being irrelevant and even problematic. References to God and Christ are seen as intrusions into individuals’ personal lives.  Prayer has been withdrawn from almost all public functions, and efforts continue to remove from the Pledge of Allegiance the words: … under God.  Even Merry Christmas, Christ’s Mass is being replaced by Happy Holidays.  The excuse given is that the greeting, happy holidays, is less offensive and more culturally inclusive.  And so in response, Catholics and other Christians boldly celebrate that Jesus Christ is king of our hearts, our lives, and the universe!  In many ways this Solemnity is more important than ever.

The Gospel of Saint Luke clearly reveals through the example of two thieves who are being executed along with Jesus the intense spiritual battle that is being waged today.  The so called bad thief represents the arrogant secular world that sneers and jeers, and mockingly gives Jesus the title of Christ (Anointed One) but refuses humbly to request the anointing of God’s forgiveness.  Salvation can come only after the admission of our sins and our intense need for Jesus who is Savior!

On the other hand, the good thief who represents all believers admits that we have been condemned justly and deserve condemnation.  However, with bold faith the good thief articulates the cry of all the faithful: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.  Every sincere request for mercy and forgiveness opens the Sacred Heart of God, Jesus Christ: Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.

Jesus Christ is King not by the world’s standards of power and prestige; Jesus Christ is King because He alone is Lord of the eternal kingdom and through Christ God delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

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