Grow+Go ~ The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
| November 20, 2022 | The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
2 Sm 5:1-3 | Col 1:12-20 | Lk 23:35-43
GROW - AS A DISCIPLE | PRAY, STUDY, ENGAGE, SERVE
Did you watch Queen Elizabeth’s funeral procession? The Imperial State Crown that sat atop her coffin is “made of gold and set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls, and 4 rubies,” according to the Historic Royal Palaces website. It had been made for her father, King George VI, for his 1937 coronation. It is hard to reconcile this bejeweled crown with the crown of thorns worn by Jesus at his crucifixion. Yet we recognize the crucified Christ as the king of kings, the firstborn of creation, above “thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.” As we conclude the liturgical year, we are reminded that the cross, not the crown, is the primary symbol of Christ’s power. By embracing the cross – through service, sacrifice and recognizing Jesus as the king of our lives – we can help bring about his kingdom.
GO - EVANGELIZE | PRAYER, INVITATION, WITNESS, ACCOMPANIMENT
It can be easy to distance ourselves from the two condemned criminals crucified alongside Jesus, much the way we might write off the prisoners in our midst today. Yet Luke’s telling reveals their humanity and our shared human nature. One reacts as any of us might, telling Jesus to “save himself.” The other speaks words of faith, recognizing Jesus as the Son of God, our true king of the universe. As we prepare to enter Advent, let us ask God for the grace to recognize Jesus as our king. Soon we will be swept up in the Christmas countdown. By placing Christ, the newborn king, at the center of our lives, we can in turn help ourselves and those close to us slow down and experience Advent in such a way so as to fully prepare for his coming.
This week, make the words of the second criminal your prayer: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”