這篇默想是以 Foundations in Faith – Catechist Catechumenate Manual 為根據，並獲得版權持有人 RCL Benziger, LLC 批准使用。
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
34th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Liturgical Year C)
2 Samuel 5:1–3
In those days, all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said: "Here we are, your bone and your flesh. In days past, when Saul was our king, it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back. And the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd my people Israel and shall be commander of Israel.'" When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron, King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD, and they anointed him king of Israel.
Brothers and sisters:
Let us give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.
The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God." Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself." Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews."
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, the church celebrates the feast of Christ the King, which allows us to recognize and honor Christ as ruler of all. The feast fixes Christ's messianic kingship squarely in the mystery of the cross. Our salvation is won by having our king die a horrible, ignominious death, betrayed by his friends and the people he came to save. Such is the ultimate price one pays in His sacrifice as king and servant of all.
The first reading recalls a foundational event in the life of the chosen people: the act of anointing David as King of Israel. David was Israel's first true king, and a towering figure in her religious and political history. His selection by God through the prophet Samuel before he had done a single great deed was attested to in the Old Testament. In the letter to the Colossians, St. Paul urges them to give thanks to God for having brought them into the kingdom of his “beloved Son.” All things in heaven and earth are reigned over and reconciled in the person of Christ. The Gospel reading from Luke invites us to see that Christ is the king who cannot be overcome by the world, by sin or by death. His reign from the wood of the cross indeed brings salvation to the outcast and the sinner Christ the King is the icon of God – an icon that reflects God's Kingship. He enjoys a cosmic and eternal reign. Yet he is also the saving, crucified Messiah, who reaches out to sinners even as he is dying on the cross. Is he a King or a prisoner? The Son of God or a mere human?
The vision of Christ the King which is presented in the gospel text for this Sunday seems inconsistent with all our worldly notions of what a king or ruler should be. He is not seated in majesty and comfort upon a throne. In fact, we are presented with a scene of violence and murder, which is transformed from evil to good by the magnificent power of God through His grace and the work of Christ for the salvation of the world. Catholic teaching asserts that Christ's kingship extends over all of human history and that he reigns above every earthly power and principality. Lord Jesus also reigns supreme over the Church, which is Christ's body, with Christ as her head. Christ the King acts to save us and raise us up, recreating us by the power of his sacrificial love. In that power and love, he claims us for his own and offers us as a holy people to God, his heavenly Father.
The feast of Christ the King clearly celebrates that heaven and earth are one in Christ. In Christ`s kingdom, sinners and outcasts become saints. Here, boundaries no longer exist and all are united under the kingship of Jesus Christ, a king who was willing to suffer, die and rise for us in his work of eternal salvation.
Have we ever felt profoundly the spirit of His sacrificial love? Will we receive the Holy Eucharist, His Body, with a deep sense of thanksgiving and gratitude?
"This is my body, which will be given up for you."
Thanks be to God!
This material is adapted from the Foundations in Faith – Catechist Catechumenate Manual with the permission of the copyright holder, RCL Benziger, LLC.