Solemnity of Christ the King
II Samuel 5:1-3
What we celebrate today in Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe has the potential to be a turning point in our lives. This year it coincides with the end of the Year of Mercy. This does not mean that mercy is all done, it means hopefully, we have learned to be more merciful. Would we be able to say today, “No matter what I am going through, I will make time for you and show mercy!”
Our story today, hangs on the inscription over the head of Jesus that read, “This is the king of the Jews.” Jesus begins to be mocked and made fun of because of this inscription, and each time the mockery gets closer and closer. First he is mocked by the rulers, they would be standing in the distance but close enough for Jesus to hear. Then he is mocked by the soldiers standing around him, and finally he is mocked by a man who hangs on cross right next to him. They all mock him by saying, “If you are a King save yourself.” Jesus knows, it is not about saving himself, it is about experiencing the cross of mercy. What a shame, the first criminal gives his last breath jeering at Christ, the only one who could save him.
Our Gospel writer Luke is the only one who has this account of the ‘good thief.’ Luke has something to teach us about mercy, and that is no matter what was happening to Jesus, he always shows mercy to those in his immediate concern. The second criminal is the only one whom truly believes the inscription over the head of Jesus and asks, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” That profession of faith gets this criminal so much more than just being remembered, he gains the mercy of Jesus, and eternal life.
To have Jesus as our King it is not about arguing, finger pointing, or screaming at each other. It is about extending mercy to those whom we do not think deserves mercy. Those here today who are married and with families, it is hard work. As Christ as our King, can we be more attentive to someone else, no matter what is going on in our lives? Do we have the courage the wisdom to say, “How may I help you succeed today? How may I be better, at who I am? What are your needs that I am missing, that I need to more attentive too?” We might say something like this because we realize that we are better when we work together.
My friends in Christ this feast day and has the potential to be a turning point in our lives. What we want to hear is Jesus saying to us, “Because of the mercy you have shown, today you will be with me in paradise.” May we find a way to be more merciful, as Jesus our King is merciful.