Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Lk 23:35-43

And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

With Jesus in paradise

November 16, 2019 was the thirtieth anniversary of the martyrdom of the six Jesuits, their cook and her daughter at the Jesuit university in San Salvador. Two years earlier, I met all the future martyrs. The university’s president, Fr. Ellacuria, gave a very passionate speech on the sufferings of these poor people. The Jesuits were killed because they had incorporated their search for peace and justice into every aspect their university: in philosophy, theology, sociology, publishing, etc. One year after their deaths, with copious tears, I attended the annual celebration of their martyrdom.

I see them when I contemplate Jesus dying on the cross between two thieves. Jesus demonstrates his Kingship by willingly giving his life for the poor sinners of this world. By his faithfulness in suffering with and for us, we name him our Lord and King. From that day in 1989, I know our Jesuit martyrs are with Jesus in Paradise.

—Fr. Louis McCabe, SJ, is a retreat director at Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House in Grand Coteau, LA.


Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Ignacio Ellacuria, pray for us.
Segundo Montes, pray for us.
Ignacio Martin-Baro, pray for us.
Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, pray for us.
Amando Lopez, pray for us.
Juan Ramon Moreno, pray for us.
Elba Ramos, pray for us.
Celina Ramos, pray for us.

Let us pray:
God, Our Father, who conferred upon your
servants in El Salvador the grace of ardently
seeking peace and justice for the suffering
people, grant that the witness of the lives
and martyrdoms bring peace to their country.
Through Jesus Christ, our Eternal King, who
lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

—Fr. Louis McCabe, SJ