Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Reading 1 2 Sm 5:1-3
Responsorial Psalm Ps 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
R. (cf. 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Reading 2 Col 1:12-20
Gospel Lk 23:35-43
- One night a house caught fire and a young girl was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his daughter, "Jump! I'll catch you." He knew the girl had to jump to save her life. All the girl could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, she was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: "Jump! I will catch you." But the girl protested, "Daddy, I can't see you." The father replied, "But I can see you and that's all that matters."
- Last week, we spoke about the first way our Church understands faith: the faith, the content of our faith, especially as it is expressed in the Profession of Faith we confess each week—faith as a noun—that which we believe.
- This week, we speak of faith in another sense—an act of trusting—an act of trusting someone—an act of trusting God—faith as a verb.
- Faith as act of trusting is like the situation of that little girl on the roof.
- Oftentimes, we cannot see where our God acts, but we trust in his words, that come to us in the scriptures we share here each week.
- Further, what is most important is not what we can see, but rather that we are seen—that, as the Psalmist says, “God’s eyes are on the sparrow, watching over it.” [Ps 84]
- The act of faith, then, is about our confidence that God watches over us, and so we put our trust not in ourselves ultimately, but in Him.
- This faith is perfectly captured in the confession of faith expressed by the so-called “good thief” in today’s gospel: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He cannot see where Jesus goes ahead of him, but he trusts that he does.
- And, his perfect prayer of faith is met with a perfect act of caring by the Lord: “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
- Today, we are given another rich display of faith in our sick and elderly who will come to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick: they show us what is most true about all of us: we cannot see where our lives will end up, but they trust in Jesus and ask him to remember them.
- As the ritual says: “the prayer of faith will save the sick persons and the Lord will raise them up.”
- As we conclude the year of Faith today, we thank God for the faith that has been shared with us and we make the act of faith that says, “Jesus, remember us when you come into your kingdom—and help us see with the clarity of faith the Paradise you have prepared for us, beginning with this Holy Banquet, “a foretaste and promise” of the eternal life prepared for all who faithfully put their trust in the Lord.