Theme: “Jesus, Remember me when you Come into your Kingdom”
Today the Church our mother celebrates the solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This celebration marks the end of the Liturgical Year C. This means that our journey through the Gospel of Luke comes to its end. It has been a great experience this year to review the teachings of Jesus in the Lukan version. As today is the last Sunday of this Liturgical Year and the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, the Church invites us to meditate on the texts related to the Passion of Jesus on the Cross, not on the aim to commemorate our Lord’s passion but rather to meditate on his kingship that this text reveals very well.
Our Gospel talks about how Jesus faces his human battle with death. He does not declare his innocence or show off his power. He rather submits to the limited power of the human rulers by allowing them to do what they intend. They crucify him between two criminals. They place a sarcastic inscription over his head that reads, “This is the King of the Jews.” Note that in this scene, the author aims to display how different our Lord the King of the Universe is from all the rulers of this world. Thus, to help his readers (including you and me today) to comprehend this difference, he opposes two groups of people. The rulers, soldiers, and the first criminal represent the group of people who mock Jesus, do not acknowledge his kingship, and consequently are not worthy of eternal life in God’s kingdom. The second criminal represents the group of people who acknowledge the kingship of Jesus and are worthy of the eternal life that Jesus offers when he comes into his kingdom.
The Gospel commences with the rulers who sneered at Jesus in saying “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.” Then, the soldiers also jeered at him saying, “If you are a King of the Jews, save yourself.” The first criminal also sneered at Jesus in these terms, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself, and us.” Evangelist Luke contrasts this group of people to ... READ MORE
Theme: Let us Work for our Eternal Salvation Because the End of Time is Real
We are approaching the end of the Liturgical Year C. Next Sunday, the Solemnity of Christ, the King of the Universe, will mark the end of this liturgical year C. As we get closer to the end of the Liturgical Year, the Church suggests a meditation on scripture readings related to the end of time and Jesus’ second coming. To better understand today’s Bible readings, let us review what we heard two Sundays back. On Sunday, October 30th, we heard the story of Zacchaeus who taught us how to fight when it is about our salvation. He was filled with a desire to see who Jesus was although he was a sinner because he knew that meeting Jesus will bring him salvation. However, two things were preventing him from fulfilling his crucial goal. The first thing is the crowd which could represent our material possessions, jobs, and people when they choke our relationship with God. The second thing was his shortness in stature which could represent worries, anxieties, and sins when we let them control our lives. As result, they keep us short spiritually and prevent us from seeing Jesus. Zacchaeus did not let his crowd and shortness of stature stop him from pursuing his goal. He resolved to climb a Sycamore tree like a little boy regardless of his high position in society (a chief tax collector) and his wealth. Our sycamore trees are the Church (Masses and all other ministries), Bible sharing/study, and helping the poor. That Gospel ended up with Jesus declaring that salvation entered Zacchaeus’ house. So, Zacchaeus taught us how to fight for our salvation which comes in an encounter with Christ.
Eternal salvation is possible only at the resurrection after death. The Gospel of last Sunday dealt with the people who like the Sadducees of the time of Jesus do not believe in the resurrection after death. These Sadducees asked Jesus a question related to their marriage law of “Levirate” found in the book of Deuteronomy. This law states that “If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.” (Deuteronomy 25: 5-10; Luke 20: 28). Now their question was about seven brothers who died one after another after marrying the same woman with the intention to raise up descendants for their first brother: “At the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?” Their aim through this question was to embarrass and discredit Jesus by proving that his teaching on the resurrection is absurd and contradicts Moses’ law. In his answer, Jesus developed the theology of the resurrection after death. He affirms that the resurrection of the dead is true and that all those who will be chosen to enter God’s kingdom will never die again. So, the resurrection of the dead is real. After this earthly life, we will resurrect either for eternal life or for eternal condemnation.
These two Sundays’ liturgies have prepared us to better understand today’s Bible readings which talk about the end of the universe. Eternal salvation refers to the resurrection, and this one alludes to the end of time. In the Gospel, we heard Jesus’ teaching about the end of time. Note that Luke wrote this passage to a community who was trying to live by faith that Jesus was raised up and would shortly return. However, as time passed, the delay in Jesus’ coming provoked doubt and challenged their beliefs. They wanted to ... READ MORE
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