Sunday, November 20, 2016


2 Samuel 5:1-3; Ps 122 Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord; Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43

It is often theorized or debated or discussed or even theologized what was Jesus' last great temptation.  There was a movie some decades back entitled in fact the Last Temptation of Christ.

There is much to consider in this regards or nothing at all.

But I do believe in today's gospel as we enter in tot he Feast of Christ the King, we do perhaps get a glimpse into a temptation, not saying it was the last or the greatest.

Here are the words of those who taunt Jesus from below, that is while their feet are firmly on the ground and Jesus' feet are set firmly to wood by the nails:

"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 the King of the Jews, save yourself."

"Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us."

Three times is short span of minutes maybe slightly longer Jesus heard that eerily enticing invitation, "SAVE YOURSELF!"

Just as in the beginning his publicly ministry he was tempted thrice so now at the end he must again face a temptation of thrice magnitude.

Save yourself.

The beauty of our King is he doesn't reign for himself.  He doesn't seek himself in love.  He does not save himself.  He refuses to save himself for the sake of saving us.

This is the Kingly Love we celebrate on this day as we get ready for Advent.

Ponder that reality at some point today.

How often do we save ourselves?  How often do we hear that early enticing invitation and act on it?  Perhaps you can't imagine but then there is fault in our imagination.

Every time we justify our actions even if we know they are wrong we are saving ourselves and not letting Him be our savior.

We do it subtly and not so subtly over and over again.

When the opportunity of goodness toward the other arises and we justify ourselves in not acting we are giving into the temptation.

To enthrone Christ in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies means we stop justifying our actions and we start letting Jesus hold sway in our lives.

He is King.  Let us enthrone him daily in our hearts, minds, wills, bodies.  With him, we too must refuse to save ourselves and only then can true liberation and kingly love and peace begin to reign fully.

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