Saving Yourself

We celebrate “Our Lord Jesus Christ the King” as the liturgical year ends on Sunday, November 20th. The Gospel Reading (Luke 23:35-43) pictu­res Jesus not as a king sitting on a throne but hanging on a cross. The rulers and soldiers insul­ted him as he hung for everyone to see.

Save Himself

Jesus was provoked throughout his ministry and it continued through to his death. Even one of the criminals at­tacked Jesus verbally, telling him to save himself and them as well. Did they expect Jesus to take him down from his cross? Jesus saves and through him, we will live in paradise. This does not mean that we won’t suffer. There will always be people who criticize and insult us. Often our reaction is to take the defense or respond back in the same way. On the cross, Jesus did not respond like that. In Jesus’ suffering we see a different, better way to respond. In his dying, Jesus does not reach out to save himself; he reached out to save others.

Save Ourselves

At the end of the calendar year, we often reflect and think of things we can change about our life and make resolutions for the future. Why don’t we try the same exercise for our spiritual life as we end the liturgical year? Jesus is our king because he gave himself unconditionally. His purpose was to show us what it means to live in his kingdom. His kingdom is not a large territory or empire, but a kingdom that lives inside of us and we must em­brace it and share it with others.

Bringing the Message Home

Our King did not come down from the cross to save himself and we cannot escape the crosses we bare in our daily lives. Jesus emptied himself out for others, are we willing to do the same?