Posted by: livingscripture | November 24, 2019

SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST KING OF THE UNIVERSE

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST KING OF THE UNIVERSE

November 24, 2019 

WORD of the DAY  

The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said,  “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah 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 Messiah? 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: 35-43)

 

How shall I live this Word?

It occurs in many traditional festivals of our towns that in the churches the veil is lifted that covers the image of the Madonna or a Saint set in a wall, and all remain ecstatic to admire the beauty of that colorful icon of popular faith, breaking out in notes of a devotional song, which signals the beginning of the festivities . In such an atmosphere of suspended silence, is the great, marvelous spectacle of Jesus lifted up on the cross as the astonished crowds watched. An ambiguous spectacle that exposed the expectations of the hearts of all those present. Almost all refuse to understand: it does not belong to any human logic that an authoritative and popular rabbi ends up condemned among criminals! Rather, we try to exorcise that feeling somewhere between revulsion and anger: “Save yourself, as each of us would do in your place!” All but one: the repentant criminal. Repentant  because he ‘sees better’ than the others: he knows how to see in Jesus one who takes charge of His own pain, and among the gloomy colors of that unreal landscape, he realizes that pain borne with love covers the clamor of every blasphemy and every sin.

Lord, today I ask in prayer the ability to read the sad events in my life as a sign of fatherliness and of the eternal providence of Him who takes care that I desire the goods that do not perish.

The voice of  Henri J. M. Nouwen, great saint and priest

Heavy and large burdens become light and easy to carry when they are lived in the light of blessing. What seemed unbearable becomes a challenge. What appeared to be a reason for depression becomes a source of purification. What seemed like a punishment becomes a respectful correction. What seemed like rejection becomes a way for deeper communion.

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