34th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2016

34th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2016


2 Samuel 5:-3.  David the shepherd is anointed as King David, king of Israel.  He serves as an earthly image in time and space of the divine king of the universe Jesus Christ, who is beyond time and space.

Luke 23:35-43.  “The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others, let him save himself.”  If Jesus were to speak then, he would say, “I am here on the cross because I am saving you.  I do this by my own free will out of love for you.  I am the only One who can offer a truly appropriate sacrifice to my Father to redeem you from your sins because I am divine.  I am the only One equal to the task because I am God.”

During his life time Jesus had exercised miraculous powers.  There were no limits to what he could do.  However, he chose not to exercise those powers to his own benefit as he hung on the cross.  Jesus understood what he must do but those around him did not.  “Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ?  Save yourself and us.’”  The other criminal rebukes him, recognizing that they are justly condemned. In compassion for Jesus, he said then, “’but this man has done nothing criminal’.  Then he said, “’Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom’.  He replied to him, ‘Amen I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’”   That second criminal, although he himself was in great pain, since he too was in the process of being executed; and, despite the fact everyone else was jeering Jesus, he goes against the crowd to recognize that Jesus is king.  He puts his future in the hands of the crucified, dying king.  He is in essence saying that earthly death has no power over this king.  This king Jesus will triumph.  What a glorious act of faith!  He is rewarded for it with a future place in the kingdom of King Jesus, in Paradise.

Colossians 1:12-20.  God the Father” delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, forgiveness of sins.”  Jesus, as King, daily shepherds us through the narrow gate.  The Scripture scholars think that the last part of our second reading was probably a liturgical hymn.  This hymn announces the preeminence of Jesus, in part, by using the expressions: in him, through him and for him.  This hymn is also a prayer of adoration, recognizing Jesus royal supremacy.

In the Godhead there is one God, yet three persons.  God does everything as one God yet different tasks in relation to humanity are attributed to each person:  God the Father is the Creator; God the Son is the Redeemer; God the Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier. In the hymn of the second reading, the role of the Son is explained more fully to his glory and to the glory of the One God.