The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
“He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.”
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
“Are you not the Christ?
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.” (Lk 23:35-43)
Today is the last Sunday of the liturgical year. On this day, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
We believe that Jesus is Lord and King.
If we do so, we must allow Him to be king rather than trying to assert our own “power” or “control” over Him.
Some people will never accept the Lord.
They mock Him to the very end of their lives.
Others, accept the Lord, maybe even late in life.
If they accept Him, they will be His people and live in His kingdom.
On the radio a few years ago, I heard a someone speak about how people who live their faiths so completely can be deluded. One of the examples the author gave was that of Catholics and Hitler. She said that, according to us, if Hitler went to confession and said he killed millions of Jews and that he was sorry, the priest would respond, “Say ten Heil Mary’s” and all would be forgiven. He would then be able to go to heaven.
She could not accept that. She spoke in mocking tones about that kind of belief.
Yet, that is precisely what we believe.
If anyone — ANYONE — goes to the Lord (1) truly repentant and (2) asks for forgiveness, that person’s sins will be forgiven.
We believe that.
Some people would not forgive. They do not forgive.
The danger in that is that they can neither ask for or expect to receive forgiveness if there is no forgiveness in their hearts.
Jesus is our King. He is a forgiving, merciful King.
Thank God for that!
FAITH ACTION: In asking the Lord for forgiveness this day, ask Him to give you the grace that you need to forgive those who have wronged you.
We begin our annual Forty Hours celebration today. Come and spend some time with the Eucharistic Lord after the Noon Mass through 7:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m., closing services for the day will take place. Our speaker is Bishop Donald Hying. We hope to see you there.