Thought of the day
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Our Lord Jesus Christ the King - Solemnity - Year C

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church Homily on the Cross and the criminal, 1, 3-4; PG 49, 403

Our Lord Jesus Christ the King - Solemnity - Year C

Commentary of the day 

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church 
Homily on the Cross and the criminal, 1, 3-4; PG 49, 403

“Above him there was an inscription that read: ‘This is the King of the Jews’”

“Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” The criminal did not venture to make this prayer before he had laid down the burden of his sins with his confession . So you see, O Christian, the power of confession. He acknowledged his sins and paradise was opened; he acknowledged his sins and gained confidence enough to ask for the Kingdom in spite of his deeds of robbery… 

Do you want to know the Kingdom? What can you see here that is like it? You have the nails and cross before your eyes but this cross, said Jesus, is itself the very sign of the Kingdom. As for me, when I see him on the cross, I proclaim him king. Isn’t it the duty of a king to die for his subjects? He himself has said that: “The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep,” (Jn 10,11). This is no less true for a good king; he, too, lays down his life for his subjects. So I will proclaim him king on account of the gift he has made of his life: “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” 

Do you understand now how it is that the cross is the sign of the Kingdom? Here is yet another proof. Christ did not leave his cross on earth but took it up and bore it with him into heaven. We know this because he will have it with him when he returns in glory. To teach you how much this cross is worthy of veneration, he has made it a sign of glory… When the Son of Man comes: “the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.” Then shall reign a light so bright that even the brightest stars will be eclipsed. “The stars will fall from the sky. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven,” (Mt 24,29f.). Do you understand the power of the sign of the cross?… When a king enters a city, soldiers take up their standards, hoist them onto their shoulders and march in front of him to announce his arrival. In the same way, legions of angels and archangels will go before Christ when he comes from heaven. They will bear this sign on their shoulders announcing the coming of our king.