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Jaime L. WatersNovember 11, 2022
person holding white and black 'grateful' cardPhoto from Unsplash.

November is a month of transition, as we move from Liturgical Year C, which ends this Sunday, to Year A, which begins with Advent next Sunday. As we end Year C, we have an opportunity for thoughtful reflection on the past and planning for what is on the horizon.

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42).

Liturgical day
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Readings
2 Sm 5:1-3, Ps 122, Col 1:12-20, Lk 23:35-42
Prayer

How can you strengthen your prayer life in the new liturgical year?

From what do you need to be forgiven?

For what things are you thankful?

 

The Gospels at the close of Year C focus heavily on the Resurrection, and their placement is a reminder of the importance of the Resurrection in our spiritual lives. The Gospels inspire us to celebrate Jesus’ birth and incarnation in light of his death and resurrection.

On the solemnity of Christ the King, the Gospel centers on Jesus’ crucifixion and the mockery that he endured in his final moments, as he was called King of the Jews. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is described in conversation with two criminals. While one joins in mocking Jesus, the other, often called the penitent thief, rebukes the first criminal. He recognizes Jesus as Messiah and asks Jesus to “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The statement is powerful in its simplicity. It is often repeated and sung as a form of meditative prayer that reminds us to contemplate Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection. 

Jesus, Remember me, when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus, Remember me, when you come into your kingdom.

The thief’s statement can inspire us to pray for salvation and to express faith in the resurrection. It is notable that a thief has made such a powerful and profound statement, as it demonstrates that forgiveness, reconciliation and transformation are possible for all people at all times, even in the final moments of life. Jesus affirms the significance of the thief’s confession, saying, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” 

As columnist, I have been able to explore the Lectionary in new and exciting ways, pushing myself to be more thoughtful and intentional in drawing insights from Scripture.

The second reading from Colossians speaks of the importance of giving thanks for salvation that comes through faith in the resurrection. Echoing themes in the Gospel, Colossians highlights redemption and the forgiveness of sins.

“Let us give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.”

The reflection on giving thanks is also fitting as many people prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving. On a personal note, this expression of gratitude is an opportunity for me to share my own thanks. The end of Year C marks the end of my time as columnist for The Word. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to read, reflect and write on the Sunday Lectionary readings. I am thankful for the staff support at America, especially Sam Sawyer, S.J., the new editor-in-chief. I am also grateful for the support, encouragement and inspiration from readers over the past three years.

As columnist, I have been able to explore the Lectionary in new and exciting ways, pushing myself to be more thoughtful and intentional in drawing insights from Scripture. For this and so many other things, I am thankful for the experience.

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