Feast of Christ the King – Ordinary Time Cycle C
Reflecting on Luke 23:35-43
We should have seen it coming from the beginning. One year ago we rotated into Luke’s Gospel, and if we’d paid attention we would have noticed it then, right there in the second chapter. But we were distracted by the glorious account of the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary, and those shepherds running up to Bethlehem to see the things that had come to pass.
We should have seen it coming, this horrible, terrifying death on a hill. The day he came into Jerusalem on a colt, with his followers singing hosannas, should have jolted our memories. Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven! They were singing just what the angels sang on the night of his birth! Something destined from before all things was now unfolding before our eyes.
The King of Kings lies nailed to a cross. He struggles, he cries, he writhes in agony. And now we remember the prophet Simeon as he held the baby Jesus in the Temple: And Mary, a sword will pierce your heart too. Ah. We knew this was coming all along.
But now, grace enters into the heart of one crucified next to him. The torture of the cross opens up a place that has grown hard in his heart. In his last moments he recognizes the image of the invisible God, Christ himself, who came into the world to deliver us from darkness. Jesus! he moans. Remember me when you come into your kingdom!
The crucified King promises paradise to him this very day. And we who, at this distance of two thousand years, know the end of the story, wait in joyful hope at the empty tomb.
Sharing God’s Word at Home:
At what times of your life have you begged Jesus to remember you?
What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year? The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire! Register here today and join the conversation.
I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
At no time in my life have I asked Jesus to remember me, because it has never occurred to me that he could forget me. I remember my friends, and I expect that Jesus remembers his, too. The prophet Isaiah tells us that God will never forget us — even if a mother could forget the child within her womb, God will never forget any one of us. We need to have the confidence that this is true.
I hope I didn’t squelch a discussion with my comment . . . I am hoping that everyone is just busy with Thanksgiving preparations.
No Brebis your answer great and Kathy’s reflection and question were strong and excellent too. Some like myself may be thinking how these reading made us feel. Or angain like myself theit computer wants to drive them nuts!
I am like Brebis, it has never dawned on me that Jesus could forget me. I know that in times of stress, I ask Him ” why?” We are unlike Jesus in that we become targets on mean spirited people and don’t know why. Sometime we forget, that the human feeling of abandoment is human to human or human to God but never God to creation. I have suffer the sin of this human abandoment of God, and I was beyond lonely, the whole world could not fill me up until I went back to my Lord and God.
oop! On reviewing my entery, I see I wasn’t clear. Jesus was indeed the target of mean and wicked spirited people, and He knew the truth in their hearts. He knew why, the prophets had told of all His suffering for our salvation. When we are abandoned we usually don’t know why.
Brevis is right. There is no way Jesus could forget us. And yet behind every prayer is that implicit human assumption about God’s “forgetfulness”. We pray for this or that blessing, or for this or that petition, etc. – – the implication being God may be “forgetting” to accomplish “x” or “y” Are we beginning to scratch the surface of the mystery of prayer and God’s magnanimity? – – – Cris
When I read the words of the criminal’s prayer, I take it as more a reflection on him than of a reflection of Christ or Christ’s ability. I think it is the man’s DESIRE to be remembered that makes this prayer powerful to me. As you all have stated, God does not forget any of us.
I guess for me, Kathy’s question would then mean, at what times in your life have you ever desired so greatly to be remembered by Jesus that you cried out for it.
When I think of the question with this slant, it seems that there have been many times in my life where I beg Jesus to remember me. Most of those times are when I’m feeling desperately alone, shaken either physically or mentally and most definitely spiritually. And I am always amazed at the effects of that simple prayer…Jesus remember me. And I think it’s because of Jesus’ response to the criminal…the promise of paradise that very day. Jesus not only remembers me (even before I pray the prayer) but in the praying, I’m reminded of Jesus’ promise to the criminal and to me.
I agree with mamidecinco. We might well ask, “Why do I ever need to ask God for anything when He knows everything?”
The thing of it is, God asks us to come to Him. He wants us to make the choice (free will) to reach out to him. Read Luke 11, 5-13, when Jesus talks about persistance. Part of it also reads,
“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
And lest we forget the story of the widow and the dishonest judge? Again, persistance in asking.
God knows what we need, but we have to ask Him for it.
Recalling also the Scripture, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” in Rev.3:15
Jesus is there waiting for us to open the door & invite him into our hearts.
The times in my life with the most heartbreak and anguish, I have asked Jesus to remember me.
In answer to your question about when I have asked Jesus to remember me, I can say this past year has been it. I have said, Remember me? I am the one that has left you. At other times it’s been, Remember me cause I have a hard time staying so close. But most often it has been, Re-member me into the wholeness that is you.
Thank you to all and especially Kathy on this Thanksgiving Day.
I don’t usually beg Jesus to remember me, though the Taize chant, “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom,” is a powerful, haunting song for me. I become that person on the cross dying next to Jesus. From the depths of my being, from a space of conversion and a desire to be reconciled, I sing this song. And like that good thief, I hear, “This day, this day….” I expect the miracle of transformation to happen in my life, this day. My faith sees it in kairos not necessarily chronos.
On the other hand, there are times that I have cried out, “God, have you forgotten me?” or “God, have you forgotten us?” It’s been in the dark night experience when I wonder where God is, when I wonder if God notices me. Perhaps in that lament of “being forgotten” my real cry is “remember me, remember that I am on this planet, remember that I am suffering.” When I ask that useless why question, I’m whining about being forgotten.
Each time I bewail another natural catastrophe that strikes in the poorest of regions, I watch the world shudder and then reach out. “This is your world,” I moan. God must hear my howling. It’s when we reach out to each other that I know God sees and asks us to use our gifts to the fullest. That’s when I know that God is “re-membering,” putting us back together again.
I can’t count the times I’ve cried out to have Jesus remember me. Life brings sorrow, difficulty, illness that can wear down the human spirit, make us feel weak and in need of a stronger anchor. Jesus is that anchor for me; while he is wholly divine, he was also wholly human and I cry out for him to understand my humanity, my weaknesses, and to provide the strength needed for the current moment. God does know my needs, but I guess I’ve always doubted he is a micro-manager, checking in each minute to steer the ship. To ask, seek and knock have served me well, since our time just doesn’t measure in God’s time, and sometimes as I wait I’m not sure he heard the first request, so I have to keep going back and asking for the patience, strength and perseverance to continue the wait. Or, the wisdom to know the answer is already present, just not the one I was hoping for. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.