Life & Soul

The Word this Week 

The Blessing Christ, by Fernando Gallego (1440–1507)

On this last Sunday of the liturgical year the Church celebrates Christ as our victorious King, leading the whole of creation to the triumph of his kingdom at the end of time. Ours is a prayer of sure and certain hope, perfectly expressed in Paul’s letter to the Colossians:

“We give thanks to the Father who has made it possible for you to inherit the light. Because this is what he has done: he has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of his Son that he loves, and in him we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.”

The consummation of this glorious kingdom lies at the end of time. Christ, the firstborn from the dead, is already its sure foundation. In him we are already reconciled to the Father. Day by day his kingdom becomes the reality of our lives as we choose to live in the light of his Spirit.

The Scriptures remind us that God’s kingdom unfolds in the time that we inhabit. Time takes on a new meaning, because each and every moment of our lives can give growth to his kingdom.

We see this in the anointing of the young David as the Shepherd King over God’s people. Vulnerable and scattered tribes found salvation in the God whose saving presence was assured in his anointed king.
In our own time, and in our own lives, we give witness to this kingdom through him who made our peace by his death on the Cross. It is in the power of his Spirit alone, and in our willingness to share his death and resurrection, that we grow into his kingdom.

The Cross graphically illustrates the challenges that we confront every day. Jesus encountered mockery and rejection. He faced the ultimate poverty of a shameful death. From this poverty he remained faithful to the values at the heart of the Gospel. To the good thief he promised peace and forgiveness. Son of God though he was, he trusted not in himself, but in the Father.

“I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

May our choices, great and small, be grounded in the same Spirit.