Gospel Reflection for Sunday the 24th of November 2019
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Next Sunday is the last Sunday of the Church’s year. And as we come to this ending of the Church’s year, the gospel reading in a particular way recalls this scene of Christ’s crucifixion.
It seems so strange that this is the scene that the Church choses to celebrate the feast which is entitled the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Last week’s Gospel and this week’s emphasis the difficulty of holding onto faith. Challenges us to ask our selves why we hold onto faith. Is it for earthly or heavenly glory. Is it to hang around with powerful people in amazing bulildings or is it something far deeper, far more spiritual.
Here we have Christ our King on the Cross.
Kings are supposed to be triumphant, our faith is supposed to be triumphant and yet in last week’s Gospel Jesus tells the disciples that the Temple in Jerusalem is going to be pulled down, not a stone will be left standing on a stone. Why would God forecast the pulling down of the great Temple built in honour of his glory
And in this weeks Gospel we reach the supposed climax of Jesus life. He is nailed to a cross. Isn’t he suppose to vanquish his enemies, finally win against those mean Pharisees and all the other bad people?
And yet here we see him, nailed to a cross, treated like a criminal. And the sign above his head, it’s like a joke. Like we got the wrong ending of the book. It is a sign at the same time ironic AND true: “This is the King of the Jews”. This is our King, enthroned on the cross. This is our servant king. Who suffered and died for us.
And I suppose the invitation for us is to look beyond all of this, to take it seriously. Yes our God did die on a cross. And for us who believe in him, who recognise his presence even in the ugly parts of life, the times of suffering and darkness. If our faith doesn’t bring us wealth and fame.
Sill, we will have our reward. Our perseverance will win us our lives said last weeks Gospel. “today you will be with me in paradise” Jesus says today.
And in so following Christ through Good and Bad times we will have nothing to fear.
All hail our King, our servant king, who suffered and died for us.
In his presence this evening we rejoice. We rejoice that through the cross comes victory and believe that even this evening in his presence we may soar spiritually through the Cross to his Glorious Resurrection to him so that even now we can share a taste of the peace and joy of paradise.
-Fr Declan Lohan