Solemnity of Christ the King (Year C): Gospel – Luke 23:35-43
For the Solemnity of Christ the King, the final Sunday of the liturgical year, the Church presents us with a stark Gospel: Jesus on the Cross.
“The Cross is the paradoxical sign of His kingship,” Benedict XVI has reflected:
It is in the very offering of Himself in the sacrifice of expiation that Jesus becomes King of the universe…
But in what does this ‘power’ of Jesus Christ the King consist?…It is the divine power to give eternal life, to liberate from evil, to defeat the dominion of death. It is the power of Love that can draw good from evil, that can melt a hardened heart…
This Kingdom of Grace is never imposed and always respects our freedom….Every conscience, therefore, must make a choice. Who do I want to follow? God or the Evil One? The truth or falsehood?
This choice is reflected in today’s Gospel, in which Jesus is reviled by some, but venerated by the “Good Thief.”
The Gospel dialogue reverberates to our own time, when the kingship of Christ is still subject to mockery and derision. Many in our culture commit the sin of blasphemy, “uttering against God – inwardly or outwardly – words of hatred, reproach, or defiance” (Catechism paragraph 2148).
As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to shape our world, and transform our culture, in the light of the Gospel (898-99, 2105), and thus advance the Kingdom.
Question for reflection: How do I respond when someone mocks the Lord?