"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." (Luke 23:42)He didn't look very kingly, bloody, naked, reviled, stretched out upon the cross. Everyone was laughing at him:
"If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself....Aren't you the Messiah? Then save yourself and us."The gospel reading for today, the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, the solemnity of Christ the King, is a stark reminder that God's ways are not our ways. What kind of a king is this? Abandoned by his friends, mocked, beaten, and spat upon. We have the advantage of 2000 years of Christianity behind us; we read this account in the Gospel according to Luke and know how it all turns out. We know that he will rise again, destroying death forever. We know
"There is nothing to fear. I am the First and the Last and the One who lives. One I was dead but now I live—forever and ever. I hold the keys of death and the nether world." (Revelation 1:17-18)The thief in his death agony on the cross would not have known this, would not have seen anything to give him a clue that the man hanging next to him was in fact the Lord of the universe. And yet, his profession of faith is recorded for all posterity: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Let us pray for a small piece of that faith, faith that merited to hear:
"I assure you, this day you will be with me in paradise."