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Where is Your Throne?

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe 

First 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.’”
When 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.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5

R. (cf. 1) 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. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
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. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Second Reading: Colossians 1:12-20

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.
He delivered us from the power of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
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.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
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.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
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.

Gospel: Luke 23:35-43

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.”

NAB

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King David! Jerusalem as the kingdom! Saint Paul killing it as always! The good thief! So much length and depth in these four readings. As I prayed and read, what I kept coming back to, what really cuts me to the heart, is the choice of the Gospel itself for today. Today is the feast of Christ the King. It ends our liturgical year as Christians, and it’s our last hurrah of Ordinary Time before the anticipatory season of advent begins.

And this is how the Church wants to leave the year—with the reminder of who really reigns. Not only are we given this awesome feast today, but the Gospel chosen for the feast is perhaps unexpected. We are celebrating Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, by golly, so why are we reading about His horrific death?!

Folly to the world, but gold for us.

Jesus chose His throne to be the Cross. The Cross is where He is most glorious because it is where He is most sacrificial. It is where His sovereignty is most evident, to those with the eyes of faith. And it’s a hard truth, isn’t it? That our King is one who suffered so greatly. But at the end of the day, His suffering blesses our suffering. He has shown us the way to true glory and majesty, and it is precisely through offering our troubles and our pain for the good of others.

Folly to the world, but gold for us.

So on this feast day, dear sisters, let’s make our throne to be our cross. What is weighing heavily on your heart today? What are you struggling through? What are you pushing through? What are you smiling through? Is it physical pain? Mental anguish? Emotional turmoil? Spiritual aridity? Let Christ the King be your Savior today.

Take a few moments to reflect on what your cross is in this moment of your life. Then, offer it to the King of the Universe, who cares so very deeply for you, and allow Him to resurrect your trials into your victories.

Olivia Spears is a middle school religion teacher turned SAHM who is married to her high school best friend. You can find out more about her here.

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