REFLECTION FOR THE THIRTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, NOV. 20, 2022
By Cathy and Gary Leak
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
2 Sm 5: 1-3
Ps 122: 1–5
Lk 23: 35-43
The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and was celebrated in October. In 1970 the Feast of Christ the King was moved to the last Sunday of ordinary time, which is the end of the liturgical year. This feast day is to honor the universal Kingship of Christ our Lord.
What comes to mind when we think of a king? Most of us think about England’s King Charles III, or King Al-Hussein of Jordan, or King Felipe VI of Spain. These are earthly kings that rule over land. So how is Christ’s Kingship different from these earthly kings? In Jesus’ time, the people believed that the Messiah would rescue, defend, and govern the people from their oppressors. So, what kind of king was Christ? How did He establish His Kingdom?
First of all, Christ’s Kingship was given to Him by God the Father. All things were created through and for Him. At the Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel announces Jesus’ Kingship saying “And the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom, there will be no end.” Lk 1:32
There are several ways Christ is different than the leaders of today. Christ tells the truth. Christ asks for and gives a lot. He values all of us. He is love, and acts with compassion and mercy. He forgives sins, and His Kingdom is forever. In the Gospel today, the “good” thief knows Jesus is innocent of any crimes, whereas, this thief admits his sins, and asks, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Christ’s Kingdom is spiritual and comes through love not violence. It is forever. How can we get there? Through faith, obedience, and the sacraments.