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  • Writer's pictureFr. Kris

Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Lk 23:35-43

We don’t consider him as a saint, but everyone who is in Heaven and in Christ’s Kingdom is a saint, right? So, is he in Heaven or not? Jesus promised him His Kingdom while dying on the cross. I am thinking about the criminal that was dying next to Jesus and before his death asked for mercy, asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus replied to him: "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Still, we don’t think about that criminal as a saint; we don’t have any prayers to a saint-criminal, but according to Jesus’ promise, yes, he is in Heaven. More than that he was probably the very first saint. Today, on the Solemnity of Jesus, Christ the King we all need to look at that criminal and repeat the same request: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." By doing that, we are acknowledging that we believe in Christ and in His Heavenly Kingdom, and we humbly admit that we all need His mercy to reach that Kingdom.

"That criminal's name is Dismas, also called a good thief. The only substantial record we have of this man comes from the Gospel of Luke (other Gospels note that Jesus was crucified between two revolutionaries, but do not elaborate). As Luke tells us, Jesus was crucified with two thieves. As they hung on the cross, one taunted Jesus along with the crowd, telling him, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us. The Christian community took seriously Jesus’ words here that this good thief was saved, and honors him as a saint. Dismas’ response to Jesus is a good articulation of steps in conversion away from sin: he came to an honest awareness of his sin and turned away from it, seeking Jesus as the source of eternal life."

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