Gospel: Luke 23:35-43
The people stayed there watching him. As for the leaders, they jeered at him. ‘He saved others,’ they said ‘let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.’ The soldiers mocked him too, and when they approached to offer vinegar they said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself’. Above him there was an inscription: ‘This is the King of the Jews’.
One of the criminals hanging there abused him. ‘Are you not the Christ?’ he said. ‘Save yourself and us as well.’ But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus,’ he said ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ ‘Indeed, I promise you,’ he replied ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’
The Gospel of the Lord
Donal Neary SJ
Church Reflections, Year C
Feast of Christ the King
Jesus couldn’t do much for the man on the cross… his own hands were nailed. He couldn’t take him off, but he gave him more than he could ask for. He gave him paradise.
Where is God in our suffering? What sort of hope can we find this week in our country? What with so many horrible atrocities taking place, and the economic mess we have. What has God and the Church to say? God in his love for his people, and the Church with its social teachings – have they any message of hope?
Where is God? God did not cause the recession nor murders. We may learn a lot through it and good may come later or now. Our suffering at the moment is of human making. Not of our making, but of some of our leaders and bankers, mostly through greed. God is with us suffering like he was with the thief. He didn’t cause the suffering of the man on the next cross to him. He wants our happiness and wants justice and prosperity for all.
God is with us, holding our hands, asking us to support each other. The Church will offer a place and space to find the love of God, and its social teaching will ask us to look for the common good in the future. It offers also a place where we can hear the Church’s approach to our economic future, reminding us all the time of the needs of the poor and the ordinary in education, medical care, housing and the ways in which the very old and the poor will suffer most in a situation which has been none of their doing. We are the Church and called on to make our voices heard for those who, like the man on the next cross, have little voice except to ask for help.
Lord, thy kingdom come.
Gospel and Gosple Reflection are taken from Mass Readings and Sunday Homily - Catholicireland.net.