November 24, 2019

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

The liturgical year draws to a close not with a cataclysmic picture of mass destruction; that was last week. The only indication of the parousia, was in Psalm 98, “sing joyfully before the King, the Lord.” Next Sunday warns us to prepare for the unexpected hour the Son of Man will come.

This week we stand at the cross with Jesus. As he ends his mortal life, we note the mindset that still can be heard in our time; “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one.” The one we claim to be king of the universe is the one who was mocked, beaten, ridiculed, crowned with thorns. Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus simply answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world … my kingdom is not here.”

On the cross Jesus establishes the kingdom of God. He exercises his authority by forgiving sinners. He is a shepherd king who is the sacrificial Lamb of God, an unblemished offering to the Father. We witness his love of God as he humbled himself to become obedient to death on a cross (Phil. 2:7).

One of the criminals recognizes that Jesus was king and that his death would change the world. He makes a simple request, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.” In his own death struggle, Jesus realizes that the good thief chose to side with this suffering king in this final hour. He opens the doors of the eternal kingdom, “today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Eucharist makes present to us this moment that unites heaven and earth and transforms us in Christ. Place in your heart the words of the thief when you receive holy communion and hear the promise that Jesus made from the cross.

Let us pray:

“Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
(Lk 23:42)


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About William Fickel, SSS