Sunday, November 24, 2013

Today's Mass Reading - Sunday, November 24, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - 2 Samuel 5:1-3
In those days, 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.’” 3When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron, King David made an agreement with them there before the Lord, and they anointed him king of Israel.
P S A L M - Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
R: Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me, “We will go up to the house of the Lord.” And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem. (R) Jerusalem, built as a city with compact unity. To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord. (R) According to the decree for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. In it are set up judgment seats, seats for the house of David. (R)
2ND READING - Colossians 1:12-20
12 Brothers and sisters: Let us give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. 13He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, 20 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.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
Luke 23:35-43
35 The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.” 36 Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine 37they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.” 38Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.” 39 Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us.” 40The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?” 41And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 He replied to him,  “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” 



Today we remember in a special way the King of kings and Lord of lords: Jesus Christ Himself. It’s the last Sunday of the liturgical year, and it is as if we are crowning the year with this powerful affirmation of Jesus’ majesty and kingship.

       It is said that when Julian the Apostate lay on his deathbed, he had only one thing to say. All his years of persecuting the Church as Emperor of Rome went to naught. “Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!” He could only throw up his hands in despair and surrender.

       But look at the strange conquests of Christ the King, the “Galilean.” Practically all of them were outcasts, the muck of society. We have, among others, a thief (see today’s Gospel reading); a couple of tax collectors (the repentant sinners, Matthew and Zacchaeus), and a number of foreigners (the Samaritan woman, the Syro-Phoenician lady, the Samaritan leper, the Roman centurion, etc.).

       The King’s conquest was actually already there from the start. Merely a newborn babe, yet already kicking off the unique pattern of strange conquests: shepherds (at the birth of the King), astrologers (the Magi), infants and toddlers (the so-called Holy Innocents). And then up to the end, at the Crucifixion in Calvary, it was still the same. There He was on His throne (the cross): with a crown of thorns, His title identified by a makeshiftsign on the space on top of His head, and placed between two thieves.

       Of those two, one asked to be taken down, the other asked to be taken up. It is such a consoling thought that the very first one to break into heaven (with the death of Jesus on the Cross) was a poor thief. Perhaps he was never religious or spiritual at all. He gambled with probably the only prayer he ever uttered in his life, and he won. He was able to steal nothing less than salvation itself, through his sincere repentance.

       And Christ the King indeed rewarded him. So, too, will He reward us, if we remain His loyal and sincere subjects. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB
REFLECTION QUESTION: How loyal are you to Jesus Christ, the one true King of kings?
Jesus, my Lord, my God, my King, like the “good” thief, remember me when it is my turn to leave this world.

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