This event in the Passion occurs only in Luke. On the surface it seems an odd choice for the Gospel on the Feast of Christ the King. There appears to be nothing regal about what is taking place here. But, then, Jesus’ reign is not of this world. Through the lens of the heavenly kingdom we see a helpless servant who, in His suffering and in the midst of derision and rejection, continues a ministry of compassion by forgiving the repentant sinner and promising him salvation. Here is precisely the kind of king we need.
May we always remember in times of darkness, desolation, and death, the presence of our crucified king. And may we always be fearless in asking Him to remember us in His kingdom.
—Fr. Ken Styles, S.J. does pastoral ministry at Walsh Jesuit High School, Cuyahoga Falls, OH