Skip to comments.King of Thieves and King of the Universe – A Homily for the Solemnity of Christ the King
Posted on 11/20/2016 6:49:47 AM PST by Salvation
Archdiocese of Washington
Jesus Christ is King of Thieves, though He never stole. He is savior of sinners, though He never sinned.
Todays Gospel chosen presents Jesus as reigning from the cross. Nothing could be more paradoxical. Lets look at it from four perspectives:
I. Vision Todays Gospel presents a vision or image of the Church. We like to think of more pleasant images: the Church is the Bride of Christ or the Body of Christ. Todays image is more humbling to be sure: the Church is Christ, crucified between two thieves.
Yes, this is the Church too. In a way, we are all thieves. We are all sinners and have used the gifts and things that belong to God in a way contrary to His will. To misuse things that belong to others is a form of theft.
Consider some of the things we claim as our own and how easily we misuse them: our bodies, our time, our talents, our money, the gift of our speech, and the gift of our freedom. We call them ours but they really belong to God, and if we use them in ways contrary to His intention we are guilty of a form of theft.
II. Variance Consider, also, that the two thieves were very different. In the Church we have saints and sinners, and in the world there are those who will turn to Christ and be saved and others who will turn away and be lost.
Christ came to call sinnersthieves, if you will. Yes, we are all thieves, but pray God that we are the good thief, the repentant thief, the thief who is now ready to submit himself to the authority of Christ, who is King of all creation.
Heaven is a real steal, something we dont deserve; it is only accessed through repentance and faith. The bad thief wants relief but will not open the door of his heart so that Jesus can save him. Mercy is offered and available to him, but it is accessed only through repentance and faith. The good thief does open the door of his heart and thereby is saved.
III. Veracity Is Christ really your king? A King has authority, so another way of posing this question is, Does Christ have authority in your life? Consider whether you acknowledge that everything you call your own really belongs to God and think about how well you use those gifts.
It is one thing to call Christ our King, but it is another to be truly under His authority. The Lord is clear enough in telling us that he expects our obedience: Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, but do not do what I tell you? (Luke 6:46)
Is Christ your King? Which thief are you, really?
IV. Victory The thief who asked Jesus to remember him manifested repentance, faith, and a kind of baptism of desire. In so doing, he moved into the victors column. Jesuss words, Today you shall be with me in paradise, indicate a dramatic shift in the thiefs fortunes.
To be with Jesuswherever He isis paradise and victory. Soon enough, the heavens will be opened, but the victory is now and paradise begins now.
Thus the good thief claims the victory through his choice for Jesus Christ. Will you have the victory? That depends on whether you choose the prince of this world or the King of the Universe, Jesus. Some think that they can tread some middle path, choosing neither Jesus nor Satan. But if you do that, youve actually chosen the prince of this world, who loves compromise. Jesus says, Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters (Matt 12:30).
As for me, Ive decided to make Jesus my choice. I pray that he will truly be my King in all things and that my choice will be more than mere lip service. Come, Jesus, reign in my heart. Let me begin to experience victory and paradise, even now!
Monsignor Pope Ping!
We call them ours but they really belong to God, and if we use them in ways contrary to His intention we are guilty of a form of theft.
Never looked at it that way. This essay is truly inspiring.
**Consider whether you acknowledge that everything you call your own really belongs to God and think about how well you use those gifts.**
Gifts of God — newborns too.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit help us raise those children as we ought.
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