Remembering the covenant
The Feast of Christ the King, Year C
6-9 year olds
“let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!”
“If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
One of the criminals:
“Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
Listen to these people. Prove you're king, they keep saying. Prove you're from God. Prove it, prove it, prove it.
They see death as failure.
They see death as the end.
And that's all they can see.
Only one person does not demand that Jesus prove who he is. One man, who himself is also dying, can see clearly.
He sees himself as he is, a sinner:
we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds
And he sees who Jesus is:
this man has done nothing wrong
He alone realizes that death is not the end for Jesus. He says,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He knows that Jesus is king. He has faith.
He asks Jesus to remember him. This is the same kind of language that God uses over and over to speak about the covenant:
I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature - Genesis 9:15
The covenant is that bond, that promise, that "glue" of the relationship between God and us. "Remembering the covenant" means being faithful to the relationship.
Of course Jesus is faithful to that covenant. He says,
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
What a comfort to that man who is dying! Jesus is showing him mercy, and giving him hope--the promise of the Kingdom.
Jesus makes the covenant with us, too.
How can we remain faithful to the covenant?
How can we show that we know that Jesus is king?
We can begin by asking the Holy Spirit to help us see life clearly, like the good criminal does. To see ourselves clearly; to see God clearly.
Those of you who have had Communion, what do you do just before you receive? You bow. Why? You are bowing to the king. You know that Jesus is the king.
You hold out your hands to receive Jesus in the bread that is holy, making a throne for the king. You know that Jesus is the king.
If you haven't received the Eucharist yet, I wonder what you can do to show that you know that Jesus is the king...