Nov. 24, 2019 - Christ the King
(2 Sm 5:1-3; Col 1:12-20; Lk 23:35-43)
David became king of Judah at age thirty, the age at which Jesus’ public ministry began. He reigned as king of Israel for thirty-three years, the age at which Jesus died and also the length of his reign as messiah. Jesus’ kingship is the fruit of his divinity but is also exercised in his humanity. He’s the divine king of all creation and the Davidic king of the New Israel into which the Father wills that all of creation be drawn.
St. Paul gives us a beautiful description of Christ’s kingship and how we’ve been made heirs of the kingdom which he inaugurated through redemption and the forgiveness of our sins. His kingship allows us to not only be priests & prophets, but also kings, by virtue of our anointing in Baptism.
In the Gospel, this is an odd king who hangs in public disgrace on a cross to receive the jeers and derision of crowds and criminals. The Romans hung a sign above his head to that effect, intended as cruel irony, but which speaks the honest truth. It took a convicted criminal to piece the heart of the mystery of Christ’s odd kingship, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” There was never a more profound act of faith than that. Imagine the depth of faith needed to see in the man mocked, beaten, and dying as one who would rule as king. Yet this thief and innumerable sinners thereafter have received the grace to see in this one dying the death of a slave, as their Lord and king. Sinners often understand it best.