Today with this Sunday the liturgical year C in the Church’s calendar concludes. Every liturgical year closes with acknowledgement and affirmation that we have our Lord and King; Christ Jesus. With that in mind let us ask ourselves the question: What happened between the inauguration and establishment of our Lord’s and King’s reign?
Last Sunday in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus used signs and words to depict himself as the link between our present and future; the Lord of history and the center of the universe. Today, St. Paul with his Christological hymn in his letter to the Colossians, acknowledges the figure of Christ as the dominant one, the one Lord before whom we are all brothers and sisters. Subsequently, by loving one another, living in truth and peace, the reign of our Lord and King is made present in our world. With today’s focus on this figure who is our Lord and King, our goal of our human history and its desires, our center of life, joy and fulfilment, let him reign with his universal love and forgiveness revealed on the cross.
Coming back to our question, Jesus with his Galilee ministry he inaugurated God’s reign. While on the cross with his death and resurrection, he established it. Within this time Jesus ate with the sinners, healed the sick, raised the dead, he taught his disciples how to become a good neighbor to others, fed the hungry, taught them to show mercy like God is merciful using the story of the lost father and his two sons, he reached out to the rejected and the marginalized. Similarly, referring to this span of Jesus’ events the Second Vatican Council in its title of the closing paragraph of part I of the pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope) uses the words Alpha and Omega referring to Christ.
Cognizance of the events above, his reign is devoid of earthly categories of kingdom. Therefore, we can decipher that at the doors of our hearts, spreads the kingdom of our Lord and King. If we can only open them, he will reign and rule, he will save us. For three years Jesus spent his energy and time establishing the reign of God by his wake-up call of love, truth, justice and peace. An example is his ultimate reaching out to the repentant thief on the cross in today’s Gospel. His disciples must do the same to spread the reign of God. We must reach out to others with hospitality and not judgement. Without a doubt, we live in a world that is inimical to this truth and probably we can ask ourselves: Are we contempt of Christ and his reign, or are we royal to him?
At the cross one of the thieves crucified with Jesus contemptuously addresses him while the other one implicitly confesses the royalty of the innocent. By contrast we live in the world today with people who have contemptuously treated and rejected Christ, his disciples while others have confessed the royalty to Christ and his disciples through their life of compassion and love to the poor, forgiveness, peace, reconciliation and truth of life. Like the Psalmist let us all rejoice in God’s reign and with Paul let us confess that there is no other force at work that can compare to that of Christ and his reign.
Christian Action This week: Join Pope Francis through prayer to spread the reign of God.
Joy and Peace.