Jesus stepped out of his glory for just a moment and became like us...a mere human being with all our warts, back and headaches, hunger urges, weakness, and shortcomings...to prove to us that He gets us, completely!
The mosaic at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC depicts the strength and glory of the risen Christ. I was in awe the first March for Life that I attended years ago when we gathered there for Mass. Totally taken by the reality that Christ's strength and glory surpasses anything we humans could ever conceptualize. Today we celebrate Christ the King and begin to welcome in a new liturgical season of Advent.
The gospel reading was about the thieves on either side of the Christ on the cross. This scene speaks volumes to me and should to anyone who reads it. For one thing, it reveals the hope for the future for anyone at anytime of their life when they choose to repent and ask for forgiveness. Second, it shows how Christ forgave and had no anger whatsoever at the hands of the horrendous soldiers, thirdly, it tells of the thief's revelation and desire to partake in the glory of Christ's paradise, and also that those at the foot of the cross were witness to this whole scene and saw the truth being played out, the soldier and other disbelievers transformed. This scene reveals to us that innocence is the largest sign of strength, humility, the biggest sign of greatness, and the tortured and dying Christ, the truest sign of life.
Why now? Why at the end of the ordinary season and at the cusp of the preparatory season of Advent where we wait in great hope for the coming of the God-child? Here's my take on it, the Church wants us to prepare well for the arrival of the Christ child. Who among us really gets the greatness and glory of God in their head? We live in a world where we are in control of so much that the reality of God's greatness has been put in the back of our minds. During Advent, the Church wants us to take another look at Christ and see Him for who He really is, the God that is bigger than our humble comprehension, mightier than we could imagine, and more glorious than we could understand and this God of ours is coming into our existence to prove to us that He loves us that much.
So that at the very mention of His name, "every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall give me praise to God." Romans 14:11