We are reminded of King David. He is anointed king in Hebron. Hebron is South and East of Jerusalem. This is David’s original homeland. His kingship begins in Hebron. Then when he unites all the tribes of Israel the capital city becomes Jerusalem. We know Jerusalem as the heavenly city. King David mounts his throne in Jerusalem. As we recognize Jesus as King of the Universe, we are reminded that Jerusalem is the heavenly city. Jesus mounts his throne, the cross, in Jerusalem. Jesus is the true king.
It is thought that the second reading may have been a hymn that people would sing. It speaks of Jesus as the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creation. In him all were created. It speaks of thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. Each of these is a class of angels which also includes archangels, cherubim, and seraphim. Jesus is the head of the body, the church. We find fullness in Jesus, reconciling all things to him. It is through his blood on the cross that peace come to those on earth and in heaven. If they did sing it, we no longer have the melody, but the words are beautiful.
The other thing to reflect upon in the gospel are the words Jesus says to the good thief. Today you will be with me in paradise. Wouldn’t we all want to hear those same words. The good thief recognized Jesus as God. And with that knowledge the good thief was able to ask for forgiveness at the last moment of his life. This is important to all of us to remember we can always turn back to Jesus.
Perhaps we should not wait for the last minute. It is also important to notice that when Jesus and the good thief are speaking it is when Jesus is very near death. This is the darkest moment of Jesus’ life. The people around him are spitting at him, mocking him, laughing at him when he is in such pain and agony. But Jesus responds to anyone who needs him.
The good thief needed Jesus. Their words were said quietly. I wonder if anyone who was there even heard them talking? Did anyone hear Jesus forgiving the good thief? This is important to realize that even when the world is screaming around us and everyone appears to hate us Jesus is there for us. Even when we whisper, Jesus will hear us. When we need him the most, he will come to us. The King of the Universe will come to us if we just call His Name.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen