Sunday Mass Live Stream
34th Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 20, 2022
It is our tradition on the last Sunday in Ordinary Time to celebrate the Feast of Christ The King. Saint Luke’s account of the crucifixion of Jesus shows our Lord praying for forgiveness for those who are putting Him to death while they stand at the foot of the cross mocking Him and scoffing at His entire ministry.
Luke presents His account of the two criminals crucified alongside Jesus. One of them joins in the general decision but the other most certainly does not. The second thief explains to his companion that they are receiving what they deserve. He declares Jesus’ innocence and seeks His forgiveness. To the thief’s heartfelt prayer, Jesus responds : “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” The mercy of God is such that even a life lived in darkness cannot take one so far away from God that he or she moves beyond the reach of God’s mercy. The only saint personally canonized by Jesus was a violent criminal – a fitting final example of Jesus coming for the sake of sinners and the lost.
Jesus had called on the people of Israel to turn the other cheek and to love those who hate them, and to forgive. Now Jesus embodies His very own teaching by loving those who are putting Him to death. Jesus’ deeds match His words. His deeds go well beyond His words and that is why His wisdom and message have endured. Through the Gospels, like Luke, but more importantly through the reading of them even today by people who listen to Jesus’ words and act on them. For two millennia now, millions have continued to follow Jesus seeing in the cross the final and perhaps fullest expression of a life devoted completely to love. “Save yourself!” the accusers of Jesus cry. Instead, Jesus chose to save the rest of us.
Nothing Compares to Being There
“I have greatly desired to eat this Supper with you.” cf. Luke 22:15
All of us know instinctively that nothing compares to “being there” in person. Whether it’s being at a friend’s wedding, sitting down to have a heart-to-heart conversation, comforting a family member while she is grieving or watching as your baby takes his first steps, we all know that being physically present makes all the difference. The same logic applies to our life as Catholics. Especially when it comes to the Mass, truly, nothing compares to being there.