The feast of Christ the King

This weekend is Saturday the 23 and Sunday the 24 November, the Feast of Christ the King, beginning the Thirty Fourth Week of Ordinary Time.

The University of Johannesburg Choir sing Ndisondela Kuwe, I come to you in prayer, almighty God. You are worthy to be praised. On this feast of Christ the King can I come before Christ in prayer and praise Him?

During the past week we prayed as if this was our last chance to ask Jesus for what we truly need.  Zacchaeus both grabbed the chance he was given to see Jesus.  Our readings have been filled with images of the end times, and we were reminded to use what we have been given wisely, to invest our gifts and talents sensibly.  We were shown an image of the Kingdom of Heaven, and there was a sense that good will prevail, as long as we can keep some space for God in our lives.  The judgement brought by Jesus was clearly shown in his cleansing of the Temple.  This is a judgement which brings worldly ideas of power crashing down as we see in this weekend’s reading from the Passion narrative of Luke’s Gospel.  Jesus is enthroned as King not on some fine and precious throne, but on a cross, between two criminals.  Even in this desperate situation with his last few breaths, speaks words of compassion and hope to a sinner who asks for forgiveness.

Pictures of Christ on the cross are not hard to find, and you may have one that comes to mind in a particular way now.  Did you notice that this reading is for the feast of Christ the King? …. What kind of king is being portrayed in this reading?

What surprises or consoles you about the contrast between an ordinary king’s power, riches and influence and the broken tortured dying man whose only gift is compassion and hope? 

As you listen to the reading again, consider what you want to say to Jesus.  Is there a prayer or a request you wish to make?

The criminal prayed for forgiveness with the last few breaths in his body; Jesus responded with compassion and love.  Imagine you have just one more prayer left to offer to the Lord – what would you say to him?  Christ the King responds with his own last breath – listen to what he says.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen