Jesuit Father Adrien Lentiampa Shenge introduces us to meditation with the readings of the Solemnity of Christ King of the Universe
Readings: 2S 5, 1-3; Ps 121 (122), 1-2, 3-4, 5-6; Col 1, 12-20; Luke 23, 35-43
Dear brothers and sisters, on this Sunday, which inaugurates the last week of the liturgical year, we celebrate the Solemnity of the King of the Universe. And today’s second reading gives us the full measure of this solemnity.
Indeed, with Saint Paul, we are invited to give “thanks to God the Father, who enabled us to share in the inheritance of the saints (…); [et] placed us in the kingdom of his beloved Son”. Thus, this solemnity of Christ the King places us in the perspective of our redemption in Jesus Christ, and reminds us that, through him and in him, we are victorious over all the forces of darkness. This solemnity gives us the supreme guarantee of our salvation, obtained by the blood of the cross of Christ, the cross by which Jesus reconciles us definitively with God, since he abolishes the great distance that Adam’s sin had established between men and their Creator.
This Sunday’s second reading thus joins the Gospel which is proclaimed on this solemnity: it is on his cross that Christ establishes his reign; it is therefore the cross that reveals the true royalty of Jesus.
The Gospel tells us that Christ on the cross is the object of positioning of each group present. Thus, we learn that the people remained there to observe, in a passive way, without positioning themselves; the chiefs made fun of the crucified; the soldiers laughed at him and his royalty. And even one of his lucky companions has the nerve to insult him. Only the good thief, whom tradition will designate by the name of Saint Dismas, will choose to join the kingdom inaugurated on the cross. He recognizes in Jesus, the righteous,the one who did nothing wrong»; he recognizes in him the Messiah who restores the kingdom of God promised to the people of Israel:Jesus, remember me when you come to your Kingdom“.
The solemnity of Christ-King of the Universe therefore commits us to take a stand before the reign that Jesus came to establish in the world. Indeed, if, by our baptism, the Father has placed us in “the Kingdom of his Sonwe can only remain there if we resolutely commit ourselves to it by living in coherence with our faith. We are thus invited to do like the tribes of Israel with regard to David – whose reign prefigured that of Jesus Christ –, or like the good thief: choose to put ourselves under the banner of the cross to serve the Master of life. But, for this, we must always remember that this commitment under the standard of the cross obliges us to live in the very way of Christ. “Thy kingdom come!we say in the prayer ofOur father“. It is up to us, the baptized, to ensure that this reign of God becomes ever more visible where we are.
Committing oneself under the standard of the cross means making sure that the reign of Christ – reign of peace and reign of love – is established more and more every day in our world. Certainly, we are aware of our frailty and our sin. But we can commit ourselves to bring about this reign, strengthened by the power of the mercy that we receive from God. Because, we know it, as it was the case for Saint Dismas – whose name means precisely “dusk», «last minute– the Lord is able to save us from our sin even when all seems lost: if, and only if, like Saint Dismas, we sincerely adhere to his kingdom and allow ourselves to be guided by the values of this kingdom. Then Jesus will say to each one of us:Today, with me, you will be in Paradise!».
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Meditation on the Solemnity of Christ the King: bringing about the reign of God – Vatican News
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