Americans have an uncomfortable relationship with kings. The American Revolution was fought for independence from King George, after all. Nonetheless, today every Catholic church around the world celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Today’s feast invites us to look beyond our national loyalties and rejoice in our primary identity. We are children of God in Jesus, Christ the King. Our readings help us consider what it’s like to belong to God’s kingdom. The book of Samuel captures the deep longing of the Israelites for a king to shepherd them. Saint Paul reminds the Colossians that we belong to the kingdom of Christ, whose power he praises in a beautiful hymn. Finally, Luke’s Gospel calls to mind the kind of king Jesus chooses to be—a suffering servant, a man for others. By sacrificing his life for us, Jesus throws open the gates of Paradise.
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First Reading — The Lord said to David, “You shall shepherd my people Israel” (2 Samuel 5:1-3).
Psalm — Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord (Psalm 122).
Second Reading — Thanks to the Father who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light (Colossians 1:12-20).
Gospel — Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom (Luke 23:35-43).