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สถิติเยี่ยมชม (เริ่ม 22-02-2012)

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2019-12-11 17:35

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34th Sunday (Christ the King)
2 Samuel 5:1–3; Colossians 1:12–20; Luke 23:35–43


The wedding ring
Christ is the King of Kings not only because of who he is
but also because of what he did.
Some years ago
divers located a 400-year-old sunken ship
off the coast of northern Ireland.
Among the treasures they found on the ship
was a man’s wedding ring.
When they cleaned it up,
they noticed that it had an inscription on it.

Etched on the wide band
was a hand holding a heart.
And under the etching were these words:
“I have nothing more to give you.’’
Of all the treasures found on that sunken ship,
none moved the divers more
than that ring and its beautiful inscription.
The etching on that ring and its inscription—
“I have nothing more to give you’’—
could have been placed on the cross of Jesus.
For on the cross,
Jesus gave us everything he had.
He gave us his love; his gave us his life.
He gave us all
that one person can give to another.
“The greatest love a person can have for
his friends is to give his life for them.” John 15:13
And that brings us to the feast we celebrate
on this final Sunday of the liturgical year:
the Feast of Christ the King.
Jesus Christ is not only the “King of the Jews,’’
as Pilate wrote on the cross,
but also the King of Kings.
And he is the King of Kings for two reasons:
first, because of who he is;
and second, because of what he did.
Let’s look briefly at each of these reasons.
First, Jesus is the King of Kings
because of who he is.
People sometimes call gold
the king of metals.
That’s because gold is popularly thought to be
the most precious of all metals.
And people sometimes call the lion
the king of beasts.
That’s because the lion
is popularly thought to be
the noblest of all the animals.
And music people of the 1930s and 1940s
sometimes called Benny Goodman
the king of swing.
That’s because Benny Goodman understood
that music form better than anyone else.
In other words, we use the term king
to designate the best there is in a certain area.
In a similar way,
we call Jesus the king of the human race.
For Jesus is the best, the noblest human being
who ever lived.
Near the end of his monumental work
on the history of the world,
Arnold Toynbee wrote a moving paragraph:
“When we began this work,
we found ourselves
looking at a great parade of marchers.
But as it passed,
the marchers all fell, one by one,
by the wayside.
And now, only one marcher remains,
growing larger and larger with each step.’’
(paraphrased)
And that one marcher is Jesus Christ.
Still another historian wrote of Jesus:
“There are human pillars
that rise toward the sky,
and bear witness to our nobler destiny.
Jesus is the tallest of these pillars. . . .
In him is found
all that is good and elevated
in our human nature.’’ Ernest Renan (slightly paraphrased)
Paul expresses much the same idea
in today’s second reading, when he says:
“Christ is the visible likeness
of the invisible God. He is the first-born Son,
superior to all created things.”
And so Jesus is the King of Kings.
He is the King of Kings because of who he is.
He is the “image of the invisible God.’’
He is the noblest human being who ever lived.
This brings us to the second reason
why Jesus is the King of Kings.
He merits that title because of what he did.
In April 1865,
the slain body of President Abraham Lincoln
lay in state for a few hours in Cleveland, Ohio.
It was on its final journey
from the nation’s capital to Springfield, Illinois.
In the long line of people filing by the body
was a poor black woman and her little son.
When the two reached the president’s body,
the woman lifted up her little son
and said in a hushed voice:
“Honey,
take a long, long look.
That man died for you.’’
What that black mother said to her child
can be said about Jesus
by every mother of every child.
Pointing to the body of Jesus on the crucifix,
she can say:
“Honey, take a long, long look.
That man died for you.’’
And so Jesus is the King of Kings.
He is the King of Kings
not only because of who he is
but also because of what he did.
He died for us.
He redeemed us.
He reunited us with God.
Paul puts it this way in today’s second reading:
“God decided to bring
the whole universe back to himself . . .
through his Son’s sacrificial death
on the cross.”
This is what the Feast of Christ the King
is all about.
This is what we celebrate on this final Sunday
of the liturgical year.
We celebrate the fact
that Jesus, the King of Kings,
grows larger and larger
with each step in the passing parade of history.
We celebrate the fact
that Jesus is the King of Kings
not only because of who he is, the Son of God,
but also because of what he did.
He died for us; he redeemed us.
He reunited us with God.
We celebrate the fact
that Jesus is the King of Kings
because he gave us everything he had.
“The greatest love a person can have
for his friends is to give his life for them.” John 15:13
Let’s close
with a prayer:
Lord Jesus, it’s not enough for us
to look at you carrying your cross
and to proclaim you to be our king.
It’s not enough for us
to bow our heads and call you Lord of Lords.
It’s not enough for us to praise you
on this your feast day.
We must pick up our own cross and follow you.
We must follow you every day of our lives.
We must follow even to the cross itself,
if that be your will.
And if we do,
you will say to us before we die
what you said to the good thief before he died:
“I promise you that today
you will be in Paradise with me.”

34th Sunday (Christ the King)
2 Samuel 5:1–3; Colossians 1:12–20; Luke 23:35–43
The criminal and the seminarian
The crucified King wants to forgive us as he forgave the
good thief on the first Good Friday.
The Catholic Digest carries a regular feature
called “The Open Door.’’
It usually contains two or three stories
sent in by readers.
These stories describe
either how the readers became a Catholic
or how they returned to the Catholic Church
after having been away from it for a while.
One story was especially moving.
It was about a young person
who grew up in a Catholic family,
was once quite active in the Church,
and entered a seminary
to study for the ministry.
Then came the turmoil of the Vietnam years.
During this time
three students at an Ohio college
were killed during campus protests
against the war.
Race riots tore apart our cities.
National leaders were assassinated.
Suddenly everything became unglued.
The young man left the seminary,
joined the antiwar movement, left the Church,
and began ridiculing the faith he once embraced.
His family was shocked by his change in attitude.
And when his behavior
became more and more hostile to religion,
they all but gave up hope.
Then came Holy Week and Good Friday of 1970.
The young man, then twenty-two years old,
was driving past a Catholic church.
He recognized the name of a priest on the sign
in front of the church.
It was a priest he had once respected very much.
Something prompted him to stop his car
and go inside the church.
As he walked through the door,
the Good Friday “Adoration of the Cross’’
was beginning.
He sat down in the very last pew.
He watched people file up to reverence the cross
while the choir sang
“Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?’’
Then something remarkable happened.
The young man writes—and I quote him exactly:
“Something inside me snapped
and I began to cry.
Overcome with emotion,
I remembered the peace
I had felt years ago in church.
The simple faith I was witnessing now
seemed more meaningful
than what I had been professing.
I got out of my seat
and went down to kiss the Cross.
The priest recognized me,
came over, and hugged me.’’
“On that day,’’ the young man said,
“I became a born-again Catholic.’’
He concluded with this observation:
“Why I stopped in the church that day,
I still don’t know,
but I know that I am happy with the results.’’
Ilike that story
because it fits so beautifully
with the readings
for today’s feast of Christ the King.
For the gospel reading describes
another angry, irreligious young man
whose life was turned around completely
on the first Good Friday,
two thousand years ago.
And what turned that young person’s life around
was the same thing
that turned around the life
of the young seminarian in the story.
It was the crucifixion of Christ.
It was the crucifixion of Christ the King.
And what the crucified Christ said
to the young criminal on the cross,
he also said to the young seminarian:
“I promise you that today
you will be in Paradise with me.”
There could hardly be
a more appropriate reading
with which to end the liturgical year.
It summarizes why Jesus came into the world.
It was to forgive sinners,
like the young criminal—
and like the young seminarian.
And this brings us
to the practical application
of all of this to our own personal lives.
It is this:
What Jesus did for the young criminal
and the young seminarian,
he wants to do for us, also.
He wants to forgive our sins,
no matter how great they are
or how long-standing they may be.
He wants to say to us what he said
to the young criminal
and the young seminarian:
“I promise you that today
you will be in Paradise with me.”
This is the good news
contained in today’s Scripture readings.
This is the good news
that brings us together
to celebrate the feast of Christ the King.
It is the good news
that Jesus wants to enter our lives
and do for us
what he did for the criminal
and the seminarian.
St. Paul expresses that good news
this way in today’s second reading:
[God] rescued us from the power of darkness
and brought us safe into the kingdom
of his dear Son,
by whom we are set free,
that is, our sins are forgiven.”

34th Sunday (Christ the King)
2 Samuel 5:1–3, Colossians 1:12–20, Luke 23:35–43
Christ the King
Christ is King because of who he is and what he did.
Jesus said . . . “I promise you
that today you will be
in Paradise with me.” Luke 23:43
Amissionary tells
how she visited a boy who was dying.
She asked the boy’s mother
if she might tell him a story.
When the mother nodded,
the missionary knelt and told him
how Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
The youth’s eyes showed unusual interest.
The next day the missionary returned
and told him the same story.
Now his face reflected peace and love.
The third day
the missionary returned again and
started telling the boy about Jesus’ birth.
But he raised his little hand
and said in a weak voice,
“No! No! Not that!
Tell me again how he died for us.”
When the missionary returned
the fourth day,
the boy’s mother was weeping.
Her son had died.
She said that just before he died,
someone began reading prayers to him.
But he raised his hand and said feebly,
“No! No! Not that!
Tell me how Jesus died for my sins.”
That touching story fits in
with the Gospel the Church uses
to celebrate this final Sunday
of the liturgical year:
the feast of Christ the King.
In the Gospel,
Pilate orders the title “King of the Jews”
placed on the cross of Jesus.
But today’s feast makes it clear
that Jesus is not only
the King of the Jews
but also the King of Kings.
And he is the King of Kings
for two reasons:
first, because of who he is; and
second, because of what he did.
Near the end of his monumental work
on the history of the world,
Arnold Toynbee wrote
this moving paragraph:
When we began this work,
we found ourselves
looking at a great parade of marchers.
But as the parade passed by,
the marchers fell by the wayside,
one by one.
And now only one marcher remains,
growing larger and larger;
and that marcher is Jesus.
Still another historian wrote:
In Jesus [is found] all that is
good and elevated in our nature.
The Life of Christ by Ernest Renan
And so Jesus is the King of Kings
because of who he is:
the noblest human being who ever lived.
He is more; he is the eternal Son of God.
This brings us to the second reason
why Jesus is the King of Kings.
Some time ago, author Marion Asch
wrote an article entitled
“The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”
It dealt with the subject of conversion.
An example she used
was especially moving.
It concerned a college student
named Rex.
He was carrying a heavy burden.
It spilled over into his life at times,
making him bitter and rude.
The college chaplain happened to learn
that Rex had a good tenor voice. So he
decided to ask him to join the Good Friday
choir, which the young man did.
During the service, the chaplain spoke
in detail about the crucifixion of Jesus.
After Holy Week, Rex began to change.
The change became so dramatic
that a friend asked him about it.
Rex said, “It all began when
the chaplain said that Jesus died for me.”
Rex had heard this many times.
But this time it touched him deeply
and made him wonder
if he was worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice.
Then Rex fell silent, as if debating
whether to add something else.
Finally, he broke the silence.
He explained that his father
was a convicted criminal in prison.
This caused him great shame.
Worse yet, he could not separate
his own life from his father’s life.
The shadow of what his father had done
seemed to control him.
Then came Good Friday.
The realization that Jesus died for him
enabled him to separate the two lives.
“As a result,” explained Rex,
“I am now living my own life and trying
to become worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice.”
Canadian Messenger of the Sacred Heart (September 1997)
And so Jesus is the King of Kings
not only because of who he is
but also because of what he did for us.
He died for us.
He redeemed us.
He reconciled us with God.
Saint Paul puts it this way
in today’s second reading:
God decided to bring the whole universe
back to himself . . .
through his Son’s blood
on the cross. Colossians 1:20
This is what we celebrate
this final Sunday of the liturgical year:
We celebrate the fact
that Jesus, the King of Kings,
grows larger and larger with each step
in the passing parade of history.
We celebrate the fact
that Jesus is the King of Kings
not only because of who he is—
the Son of God—
but also because of what he did.
He died for us.
He redeemed us.
He reunited us with God.
We celebrate the fact
that Jesus is the King of Kings
because of what he is and
what he gave us.
“No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 (NAB)
Let us close with a prayer
to Jesus, the King of Kings.
Lord Jesus, it is not enough for us
to look at you carrying your cross
and to proclaim you to be our king.
It is not enough for us to bow our heads
and call you Lord of Lords.
It is not enough for us to praise you
on your feast day.
We must pick up our cross
and follow you.
We must follow you every day
of our lives.
We must follow you even to the cross,
if that be your will.
And if we do this faithfully,
we will hear Jesus say to us
what you said to the good thief:
“I promise you that today
you will be in Paradise with me.”