Sunday, November 21, 2010

Remember Me When You Come into Your Kingdom

November 21, 2010
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King – 2010

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said: "Here we are, your bone and your flesh. In days past, when Saul was our king, it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back. And the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd my people Israel and shall be commander of Israel.'" 2 Samuel 5:1-2

He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins…For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross (through him), whether those on earth or those in heaven. Colossians 1:13-14, 191-20
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 23:39-43

By our piety, we make Christ the King of our lives. We give ourselves over to him. He becomes the be-all and the end-all of our existence. All that we do comes from his inspirations and becomes the very purpose of our lives. We live our lives for his sake. We join ourselves to his way of looking at life. The Commandments become second nature to us because we love Christ with all our heart, mind and soul. We become, by our piety, his presence in our world. The Mystical Body of Christ for any one of us is the sum of all our relationships to Christ. We rejoice that we are found worthy to suffer for his name because of the closeness of our oneness with him. Our sufferings fill up what is wanting to the suffering of Christ today. Because Christ is our King, we are his representatives to the entire world by the Christness of our lives. Christian means another Christ and when we are true to ourselves we are true to Christ in what we say, think and do.

The Examen of the Consciousness of Christ in our lives is the study of how Christ rules our lives. By our Baptisms, we have been called to make our hearts his dwelling place. Christ is our King when he is the love of our lives. All the ways we reach out to the last, the lowest and least persons of our lives is the proof that Christ is the King of our hearts. Christ identifies with the needy. He is the king of our hearts when we reach out to their needs. The hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the naked and the prisoners are where Christ is most easily seen by us. What we do for the last, the lowest and the least person is how we treat Christ. The most loved of our lives are the models of what we should offer to the nobodies of our lives. When we would give to the least fortunate what we would give to the most loved people of our lives, we live with Christ as the meaning of our lives. We truly live with Christ when we live with the poor of our lives.

Christ’s kingship is seen in our actions. Each day it is worth our while to look beyond those who approach us to help at least one person. It is best to help the stranger we will not see again because then we know we are doing it for Christ since we will not get anything out of what we give. If we can give without counting the cost, we know our own relationship to Christ, our king. God transfers us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Then we say with our lives that all was created through him and for him. Thus, we come to the reconciliation of all things because peace is brought into our lives by the blood of his cross, now ours, in how generously we share with the one who needs us. Then, Christ is truly the king of our lives.