First Reading – 2 Samuel 5: 1-3
In those days, all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
“Here we are, your bone and your flesh.
In days past, when Saul was our king,
it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back.
And the LORD said to you,
‘You shall shepherd my people Israel
and shall be commander of Israel.’”
When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron,
King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD,
and they anointed him king of Israel.
- In the first reading, David is named King. In the gospel, you’ll read how Christ was named King as he’s crucified. To be a King is to be the sole and absolute ruler of a state or nation. Given the election this month, you’d think we elected someone who holds that same power.
- If you had been born into such a state of power, what changes would you make for this country?
- What changes would you make for the world?
- How would you ensure the power did not go to your head as it did with David?
Second Reading – Colossians 1: 12-20
Brothers and sisters:
Let us give thanks to the Father,
who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
He delivered us from the power of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.
Gospel – Luke 23: 35-43
The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
“He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.”
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
“Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
“Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.”
- The thief to Christs’ right is sometimes called “The Good Thief”. He was later named Dismas (which means sunset) in the Gospel of Nicodemus and is often mentioned today as St. Dismas, although he has never been canonized by the Catholic Church. How do you feel about a person who’s led a sinful life, one worthy of being crucified for, being granted access to ‘Paradise’ as he asks for forgiveness on his death bed (or cross)?
- The thief to Christs’ left is sometimes called “The Bad Thief”. He was later named Gestas in the Syriac Infancy Gospel. What do you imagine his fate was? Do you think God gave him another chance at redemption after Gestas expired on the cross? Do you think our salvation is tied to our life here on earth, meaning do you think our afterlife is 100% based on our life here on earth?
There’s several myths that surround these two thieves. One says that Dismas paid Gestas 40 silver coins (called drachma) to not harm Mary, Joseph, and the Infant Baby Jesus as they fled Egypt. At this point in the tale, the Infant Jesus predicted that the thieves would be crucified with Him in Jerusalem and that Dismas would accompany Him to Paradise. Again, this story is not substantiated and is considered myth.