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Vol: 46, No.60 CHRIST THE KING ( C) November 24 2019  
The first reading of today gives an account of the choice of David as king. It is a unanimous choice by all the tribes of Israel and David accepts to be king by making a covenant with them. Despite human weakness and failures David emerges as the model king of Israel for his obedience to God who has chosen him. He has provided the family line for Jesus the King of the Jews.
A key element in Colossians’ presentation of Christ is a hymn that describes his role in creation and reconciliation. The hymn praises Christ as “the image of the invisible God” and “first-born”, both of creation and of those who shall rise from the dead. He is, moreover, the one through whom “all things were created” in whom the whole of creation holds together, in whom “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,” and by whom the primal unity of creation is reconstituted that in everything he might be preeminent. He is thus the “head” of the whole cosmic “body” which the hymn identifies as the Church. The cosmic dimensions of Christ’s sovereignty are clear in this hymn which declares that “all things,” not only earthly but also heavenly, including all of the powers (thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities) have been created through him. This Christological hymn alludes to Wisdom motifs in the OT. In Proverbs 3:19 Wisdom is described as an agent in creation; in Proverbs 8:22-31, Wisdom, created first, is a partner in the work of God. The hymn reiterates the heart of Christian faith: that Christ’s suffering and death are central to the salvation of the universe.
The gospel of today revolves around the
crucifixion scene of Jesus. Several events happen as Jesus is on the cross. The rulers sneer at Jesus and the soldiers mock at him. Even one wrongdoer crucified along with Jesus taunts him. But the other wrongdoer utters a confession of his own sin, and states publicly Jesus’ innocence. His last-minute faith is accepted and Jesus promises him a place in Paradise with the justified. Salvation does not consist in political liberation or the perpetuation of life, but rather in the restoration of God’s people through the forgiveness of sins. The irony of Luke’s portrayal therefore is obvious, when Jesus is shown extending forgiveness to his executioners, even as their mocking shows them incapable of receiving it (Lk 23:24). And to the wrongdoer who responds to Jesus in faith, asking to “be remembered” in the kingdom, Jesus responds with the promise of a place with him in Paradise (Lk 23:43).
Of the two wrongdoers crucified with Jesus, the plea of the second wrongdoer helps in our understanding of the kingship of Jesus. He says, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingly power.” His plea would mean that Jesus is on his way to his kingdom and wants to be remembered as soon as Jesus gets there. The first wrongdoer is hostile to Jesus’ kingship but the second wholeheartedly welcomes it. The wrongdoer asks to be remembered by Jesus but more is granted in terms of being with Jesus; for the response given by Jesus includes not only deliverance but intimacy. Acknowledging the disciple-like spontaneity manifested by the wrongdoer, Jesus is giving him the role of a disciple. Jesus dies on the cross as the King, but even from the cross he exercises mercy as King; he shows compassion to a wrongdoer and makes him a disciple.
– AK
November 2019

(34th Week in O.T., Year I)

Psalter Week 2
25 Mon (G) St Catherine of Alexandria, Dan 1:1-6, 8-20/ Dan 3:52-56/ Lk 21:1-4
26 Tue (G) Bl. James Alberione, Founder of the Pauline Family,
Dan 2:31-45/ Dan 3:57-61/ Lk 21:5-11
27 Wed (G) Dan 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28/ Dan 3:62-67/ Lk 21:12-19
28 Thu (G) Dan 6:12-28/ Dan 3:68-74/ Lk 21:20-28
29 Fri (G) Dan 7:2-14/ Dan 3:75-81/ Lk 21:29-33
30 Sat (G) St Andrew, Ap, Feast, Rom 10:9-18/ Ps 19:8-11/ Mt 4:18-22 Visit us at:
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