The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
"He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God."
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
"If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."
Above him there was an inscription that read,
"This is the King of the Jews."
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
It’s the least likely place to find a king: beaten, bloody, dying upon the horrific Roman instrument of crucifixion, in the midst of two common criminals. That’s the scene selected by the Church to portray Christ our King, today.
The scene sums up so much of the Gospel of Luke. At the beginning of Luke’s account, Jesus is placed in a manger: another unlikely setting for a king. In his infancy stories Luke wants us to recall Israel’s great King David, and then tells us what true kingship is all about.
With these portraits of our King comes an understanding of the reign of God which he proclaims. That heavenly reign is populated by those who seek it in humility—by the poor and those rejected by society, by those who imitate their crucified King in love, forgiveness and reconciliation, even as he hangs on the cross.
We live in a world with a lot less royalty than in past centuries. And yet we still can be tempted by our own brand of royalty and a love for the trappings of wealth and power. The voice of our crucified King, inviting us to Paradise along with the repentant thief, cuts through all that is shallow and cannot truly satisfy. Will we hear it today?
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• In this week's first reading, what does Second Samuel say about the leaders of Israel who can to David in Hebron?
What agreement did the elders of Israel make with King David?
• In the second reading, Paul tells the Colossians to “give thanks to the Father” because God made them fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.” Why? What is he talking about?
What does Paul say about Jesus? He says quite a lot of things. Can you list some of them?
• The narrative in the Gospel about Jesus crucified speaks of how “the rulers sneered at Jesus.” What did they say about him?
The so-called “good thief” corrects the other thief hanging on a cross for reviling Jesus. What did Jesus promise the good thief? So where does Jesus reign?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• We celebrate Christ the King this week. Draw a picture of what you think Christ would look like as a king.
• Make and decorate a crown as if it were for Jesus. Display it on the table during dinner.