Sunday, November 20
Christ the King – Solemnity
Roman Ordinary calendar
2nd book of 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.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
The tribes of the LORD.
According to the decree for Israel,
To give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
Letter to the Colossians 1,12-20.
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.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 23,35-43.
The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah 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 Messiah? 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.”
Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407)
priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
Homily on the Cross and the criminal, 1, 3-4; PG 49, 403
“Above him there was an inscription that read: ‘This is the King of the Jews’”
“Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” The criminal did not venture to make this prayer before he had laid down the burden of his sins with his confession. So you see, O Christian, the power of confession. He acknowledged his sins and paradise was opened; he acknowledged his sins and gained confidence enough to ask for the Kingdom in spite of his deeds of robbery …
Do you want to know the Kingdom? What can you see here that is like it? You have the nails and cross before your eyes but this cross, said Jesus, is itself the very sign of the Kingdom. As for me, when I see him on the cross, I proclaim him king. Isn’t it the duty of a king to die for his subjects? He himself has said that: “The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep,” (Jn 10:11). This is no less true for a good king; he, too, lays down his life for his subjects. So I will proclaim him king on account of the gift he has made of his life: “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
Do you understand now how it is that the cross is the sign of the Kingdom? Here is yet another proof. Christ did not leave his cross on earth but took it up and bore it with him into heaven. We know this because he will have it with him when he returns in glory. To teach you how much this cross is worthy of veneration, he has made it a sign of glory. … When the Son of Man comes: “the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.” Then shall reign a light so bright that even the brightest stars will be eclipsed. “The stars will fall from the sky. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven,” (Mt 24:29 f.). Do you understand the power of the sign of the cross? … When a king enters a city, soldiers take up their standards, hoist them onto their shoulders and march in front of him to announce his arrival. In the same way, legions of angels and archangels will go before Christ when he comes from heaven. They will bear this sign on their shoulders announcing the coming of our king.