Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on November 21, 2010

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 23:35-43

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.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: On this Sunday, the Solemnity of Christ the King, we bring to a conclusion the church year and with it, Cycle C in our readings. Next Sunday, we will commence Cycle A as we enter Advent.

Christ the King sums up what we have been reflecting on throughout the year. It is Jesus, as alpha and omega, beginning and end, the first and the last, who has been the theme of our readings for the last 12 months. In this gospel passage from Luke on the nature of Jesus’ kingship, we can appreciate with special poignancy Paul’s admonition,

We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Our King is a king who chose suffering. Our King is a king who chose the company of those who are of no account in the world and promised to lift them up, even as he did here in this passage, bringing healing and hope even as he himself suffered a cruel and unjust punishment. Our King died as he was born, marginalized and at the edges yet a sign and a challenge to all of us.

Spiritual reading:

The Lord eternal reigned before the birth of every living thing.
When all was made as He ordained, then only He was known as King.
When all is ended He will reign alone in awesome majesty.
He was, He is, and He will be, glorious in eternity.
Peerless and unique is He, with none at all to be compared.
Beginningless and endless, His vast dominion is not shared.
He is my God, my life’s redeemer, my refuge in distress.
My shelter sure, my cup of life, His goodness limitless.
I place my spirit in His care, when I wake as when I sleep.
God is with me, I shall not fear, body and spirit in His keep.
(attributed to Solomon ibn Gabriol, 11th century Spain)

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