This is one of the most popular images of Christ the judge who will come at the end of time! Tomorrow the Church will close the Liturgical Year with the Solemnity of Christ the King, but the reading from the Gospel takes a different spin from the sentiments evoked from this icon above. The Gospel comes from Luke 23, the crucifixion. The king is on trial before rulers and beside two criminals. Jesus makes a profound promise to the repentant sinner, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”
Jesus died poor and naked, yet the repentant sinner aware of his own failings recognizes the King of his heart. Thanksgiving Day along with the spin of holiday shopping are underway. Are we poor enough to recognize the one who is ruler of of hearts, who created us before the foundations of the world? Created in love, made for love, destined for the king of hearts.