11/20/2022 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reading: Luke 23:35-43
35 The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
36 Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine
37 they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us.”
40 The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?
41 And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
11/20/2022 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reflection: Luke 23:35-43
In John 15:13, Jesus Himself said, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” In the gospel reading above, Jesus did just that. He laid down His life for us. All through His life, He served the people: teaching them, healing them and feeding them. What more can He give? His very own body and blood through the Eucharist and His last drop of blood was shed while hanging on the cross. He gave everything for our sake. That is why we call Him King!
Yet it is not us, human beings, who make Him King. He is King because of who He is. He is the Son of God who emptied Himself of divine privileges and took the form of a servant. Moreover, having appeared as a human being, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross (Philippians 2:7-8). Yet He is not dead for He resurrected on the third day. Then He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right Hand of God, the Father (Mark 16:19).
Jesus is King for who He is and for what He has done yet it is up to us to make Him king in our life. The gospel reading above tells us that His being king was sneered at three times: first by the rulers, then by the soldiers and by one of the crucified criminals. Rejected by many, His kingship does not diminish a bit. Yet, if we humbly accept Him to be the king in all aspects of our life, He will say the same thing that He said to the other crucified criminal, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we humbly ask you to make our hearts the dwelling place of your sacred kingship and that the whole universe may acknowledge you as King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.