FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
November 20, 2022
Last Sunday of the Liturgical Year
JESUS CHRIST KING OF THE UNIVERSE
WORD of the DAY
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.”
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23: 39-43)
How shall I live this Word?
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Jesus Christ King of the Universe. The passage that the liturgy offers us takes us back to the Passion and death of Jesus. Two people are suffering considerably on the cross; one turns to Jesus to test Him and asks Him for a miracle, while the other only asks that He remember him. How many times in suffering do we oscillate between these attitudes? Sometimes we ask for a miracle and if we don’t get it, our faith in Jesus begins to waver. Maybe He is not the Christ? Maybe God doesn’t exist? The other attitude is to rely completely on Him, “remember me”. Total entrustment because we know that He is always with us. He has told us many times, also expressed in Matthew 28:20b, “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age”. This certainty gives us profound inner peace because we know that from His kingdom the Lord always supports us, even in the most difficult moments. Obviously, He supports us without taking away our suffering just as He did not free either of the two criminals from the cross. Pope Francis also reminded us of this at the General Audience of 16 June 2021. “He does not save us from an illness or from a moment of discouragement, but offers us total salvation, the one that gives us hope in the definitive victory of life over death … Even in the most painful of our sufferings, we are never alone.” He offers us Paradise as He did to the evildoer who asked Him to remember him.
Lord, help me to accept all life’s situations, trusting You and entrusting myself to You alone.
The Voice of Sr. Emmanuel Milliard, Franciscan Religious
In the face of suffering there is no alternative. Either we choose Jesus or we choose Satan. But if you trust completely in Jesus, suffering can become the occasion to live a piece of Heaven on earth and collaborate in the Salvific Plan of Christ for the entire world.
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