December 2, 2016
A few Sundays ago, we celebrated Christ as the King of the Universe. We honored the Feast of Christ, the King. In this process, the Church places us before Christ as the King and Lord of all the events of history on this the last Sunday of the Church Year. Jesus stands at the end of this Liturgical Year, as he will stand at the end of time.
Last Sunday, we began a new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent. As we look on Christ, we see the sign above Jesus INRI in In Latin. It means JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.This is a sign, we see on every cruciﬁx.
It is a good reminder of what mercy means. It means that we are willing to die to self in order to follow after Christ. It means that Christ as the servant king seeks the best for each and every one of us. In our first reading today we see that David is made king in Hebron. The people recognize that the Lord is upon David and desire that David fulfill his role as he was anointed king by the prophet Samuel. It is important to remember that David survives the attacks of Saul through the mercy of his friend.
We recognize the place that mercy has played in our own lives. Perhaps it was a mercy that someone gave you a chance to succeed. Perhaps you saw a child or someone you mentored succeed through the support that you provided them with. Whatever it may be mercy can and does draw out the best in others.
We all can use some mercy in our lives and that is something that we need to recognize in our lives. Because we have all received so much mercy and recall it as we celebrate Christ our King. We heard the refrain to our Psalm, Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. We should rejoice because Christ is our King.
It is good to remember that through our baptism we are Children of God. Christ has kingship over us but it is gentle Father. It is the one who shows us Mercy today. Jesus said Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise. On the Cross Jesus gives mercy to those around Him. We are called to give this mercy to every individual that we encounter. It is really a beautiful exchange with Christ on the Cross. In Gospel of Luke, One of the good thieves asked Jesus for His mercy.Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.Jesus replied to him, Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.
Mercy is a virtue that is much needed in our time. Mercy is why Christ came and died for us on the Cross. Mercy, though hard to learn and accept, will draw us always closer to Christ who is our king. We celebrate Christ our King. Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, wants us to be peacemakers. His kingdom places truth and life, holiness and grace, justice, love and peace first.
We honor Christ our King, by seeking non-violent solutions to conflict and by working for cooperation and harmony in our relationships. Jesus Christ stands before us and reigns over the Church and over all of the events of salvation history from the creation of the universe to this present moment in history. We do our best to uphold justice and truth, because Jesus came into the world to testify to the truth (Jn 18:37). Those who belong to the truth belong to Christ the King.