THE Solemnity of Christ the King, which ends the current liturgical year, presents us with the gospel reading about the thief who asked Christ to remember him when Christ would enter into his kingdom. And Christ readily said: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (cfr. Lk 23,35-43).
What a heartwarming scene this is! It tells us that despite our sinfulness, we are assured always of mercy as long as we show just a bit of a sign of repentance. God is all too willing to welcome us to his kingdom.
We have to understand that God wants to establish his kingdom with us who are most of the time sinners. That is why when some Pharisees asked Christ when the Kingdom of God will come, he answered that “the Kingdom of God is within you.” (Lk 17,21) Now, it is all up to us if we want to be part of that kingdom!
We really do not have to look far to find the Kingdom of God. It is already with us as long as we repent of our sins and express our desire to be with God. It is as simple as that!
Our defects, failings, sins and all that should not be a permanent obstacle to be part of God’s kingdom. On the contrary, they should bring us closer to him, asking for forgiveness and for more grace, rather than alienate us from him. If we are humble enough to be realistic about ourselves, we can readily see the wisdom of this attitude.
We all know, as an author rightly said, that “every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” God will do everything to bring us back to him. He has given us all the means and an all-powerful roadmap to heaven.
We may fail God many times, but he will always be understanding to us. We should be careful not to be too overwhelmed by our weaknesses and sinfulness as to fall into despair and run away from God.
It’s precisely when we are down when God shows his greatest love for us. We should never doubt this truth which can be validated by the mere fact that God sent his Son to us, and Son became man and assumed all our sins by dying on the cross.
We obviously should not abuse the goodness and mercy of God, though we also know that somehow we cannot avoid abusing it. What we can do is to learn as quickly as possible the many precious lessons our weaknesses and sinfulness can occasion in us.
We have to remember that nothing happens in our life without the knowledge and at least the permission of God. So, if anything bad comes to us, we should always ask God: Lord, what is the purpose of all this? We know that everything happens for a reason. And the ultimate reason can only be found in God.
We have to be wary when our reaction to our errors, failures and sins would only be human, based simply on our feelings or some human consensus and other human estimation of things. These bases cannot capture the whole picture and can even distort things, aggravating things for us.
Let us make Christ, the Son of God made man, our true King. Let’s make him rule over us, in our thoughts and desires, in our words and deeds. With him, we achieve the fulness of our humanity. He does not treat us like slaves. He treats us like he treats himself.