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The Solemnity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

19 November 2022

Reflecting on Luke 23: 35-43

Every year at this time I remember my great friend, Auxiliary Bishop George Evans. He died on the evening of the vigil of the Triumph of the Cross, September 13, 1985. It seemed an appropriate day for this gracious, prophetic man to go to God. Lift high the cross, we sang at his overflowing funeral at the Cathedral. It was that cross to which Bishop Evans clung every day of his priesthood.

When we come to the end of the Church year, with this Solemnity of Christ the King, the message is clear: Our King died a horrible death on a cross. There is no other story in human consciousness that asserts a God who is so vulnerable that he actually, truly died a vicious, horrible death.

And the hardest part, I think, of Luke’s account is that he was mocked even as he fought for every breath on the cross. Hey, I thought you were a king or something. Now’s the time to whistle for your army and have them deliver you (and us) from the monster Romans.

I am one of those who cling to the old rugged cross. I’m in a situation right now where I really can’t get control of pain. I thank God every day that we have a God who suffered horribly, and who died. I cling to the sufferings of Christ. Are you in pain? Jesus knows. Are you lonely? Have you been betrayed by those closest to you? He knows that pain too.

The message couldn’t be clearer: this is our God, utterly destroyed on the cross. Cling to his cross. The kingdom is at hand.

Jesus, remember us when you come into your kingdom.

In what areas of your life do you cling to the Cross?

Kathy McGovern ©2022

Ordinary Time - Cycle C

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