Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christ the King (C) - The People Stood there Watching

Luke 23:35-43
November 24, 2013

GOSPEL READING: The Crucifixion
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.”

REFLECTION: The People Stood there Watching

The People Stood there Watching… Does that sound like a headline for news?  Well, maybe it is. Did the people know what they were watching?  Did the leaders know what they were jeering at or the soldiers know what they made fun of?  An inscription over His head announced: This is the King of the Jews. (Everyone knows that the Jews have had no king for centuries.)  Even one of the dying criminals taunted this ‘king of the Jews’: “Save yourself and us.” How many of us today realize that this is Divine Love in all its fullness, omnipotence? What is my own reaction to this Gospel scene?  Do I feel repulsed at the horror of Jesus stripped of His clothing, made helpless and left to die in His own blood?   Can I as a Christian, acknowledge this as a necessary expression of Divine Love?  Theologians tell us that one drop of this Man’s blood would be more than sufficient to redeem all souls of all time.

Should I prefer Jesus surrounded with little children or as a Good Shepherd with lost souls carried on His shoulders? Why such a horrible, bloody death?  Is it easy for me to comprehend this expression of Omnipotent Love?  Perhaps, our ‘key word’ should be comprehension?  This kind of Love comes from the very Heart of God!  What human intellect can comprehend the foolish Love of God madly thrown down from heaven to people?

The spectacle of horror and hatred must somehow “balance” with the weight of the furnace and fire of Divine Love; even a shocking and reckless waste of God’s LOVE for people.  The only human intellect that could comprehend this scene is that of a God-Man, of the Christ.Today, we are celebrating the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe; this universe which was created only for people, people made in the image and likeness of God.  These people, with intellect and will, took centuries to ‘intuit’ and contemplate and come to a sort of comprehension of: Christ the King of Love, Christ the very Heart of God, Christ the King of the Universe! And the people stood there watching.  You and I are among the ‘people watching. I will now propose for our contemplation an insightful quotation by Dostoevsky in his book “Brothers Karamazov”:
      “Have no fear of men’s sin.  Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love, and the highest Love on earth.  Love all God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it.  Love every leaf and every ray of God’s light.  Love the animals, love the plants, love everything.  If you love everything, you will perceive the Divine Mystery in things.  Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day.  And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.” Amen.

The sharer is a DOMINICAN NUN‏ of the Queen of Angels Monastery in Bocaue, Bulacan.


Solemnity, Cycle C, OP Nuns, Comprehension, Crucifixion, Love, Suffering

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