Americans have an uncomfortable relationship with kings. The American Revolution was fought for independence from King George, after all. Nonetheless, today every Catholic church around the world celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Today’s feast invites us to look beyond our national loyalties and rejoice in our primary identity. We are children of God in Jesus, Christ the King. Our readings help us consider what it’s like to belong to God’s kingdom. The book of Samuel captures the deep longing of the Israelites for a king to shepherd them. Saint Paul reminds the Colossians that we belong to the kingdom of Christ, whose power he praises in a beautiful hymn. Finally, Luke’s Gospel calls to mind the kind of king Jesus chooses to be—a suffering servant, a man for others. By sacrificing his life for us, Jesus throws open the gates of Paradise.
KING OF MERCY
This is the last day of the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that began on December 8, 2015. Now is the perfect time to reflect on the year. What was the Year of Mercy like? How did God’s forgiveness surprise and strengthen us? In what ways did Jesus’ example enlighten our hearts and actions? Today’s Gospel can guide our reflection.
• Jesus hangs on the cross in agony. What pain have we endured for others?
• People of all sorts sneer at Jesus, mocking him. Have we felt the sting of dishonor or hatred?
• Keeping his eye on Paradise, Jesus forgives his persecutors. Have we forgiven others, even if they didn’t (or won’t) apologize?
• Jesus uses some of his last breaths to comfort another dying man. Have we tried to tend to others’ needs, even when we don’t feel up to the task?
This kind of examination helps us not only at the end of a jubilee year, but also at the end of every single day. When Saint Ignatius of Loyola began his nightly reviews, he always began in gratitude, thanking God for specific gifts from the day. If we’ve had a particularly rotten day, we might look to Saint Paul for inspiration. His words to the Colossians remind us that all fullness “was pleased to dwell” in Jesus, who died to reconcile us to God and to open the gates of Paradise. Truly, we can always give thanks for that!
With grateful hearts, then, we proceed with our review. How did we cooperate with God as sons and daughters of the Kingdom? How did we bring a little bit of Paradise to others today? How did we stand in God’s way, becoming obstacles to others’ journey to Paradise? Asking the Lord to have mercy on our weakness, we give hearty thanks for allowing us to work for the Kingdom. All praise to Christ the King!
Today’s Readings: 2 Sam 5:1–3; Ps 122:1–5; Col 1:12–20; Lk 23:35–43
Also in this bulletin:
- Join Bishop Ochoa for OneLife Walk
- Daily Readings
- Office closed for Thanksgiving
- Sanctuary Flower Dedications
- Scrip for Christmas
- Confirmation Retreat Photos
- Grandparents Day Photos
- Raiders Raffle for Bethlehem Center
- Naturally Nuts Fundraiser for Boys Scouts
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Meeting