A very warm welcome to all parishioners and visitors of Our Lady Help of Christians to our parish website. Fr Mario

Gospel Reflections Download newsletter   [Luke 23:35-43]

The crucifixion scene in Luke, as in all the gospels, is the climax of the story of Jesus. Emphasis is placed on the role of Jesus as King. The soldiers mock him as such, but the Gospel’s use of irony ensures that we understand that they are saying more than they realise. Jesus is also ridiculed as Saviour (‘Save yourself and us as well!’): especially in Luke (from the Infancy Stories onwards) Jesus is presented as the true Saviour – who is God. In Luke the crucifixion scene is primarily a scene of forgiveness, where Jesus carries on to the very end his work of forgiveness, which Luke has underlined throughout his Gospel. The scene begins with the women of Jerusalem mourning for Jesus, and ends with all the spectators departing, beating their breasts, recognizing their universal guilt. Jesus spontaneously forgives his executioners, asking God’s forgiveness for them before they even ask it for themselves. He welcomes into his kingdom of Paradise the bandit who spontaneously acknowledges his wrongdoing. Here we see the culmination of all those scenes throughout Luke’s Gospel where values are reversed: the King presented as a wretched figure dying on the Cross, to whom homage is paid not by dignified courtiers, but by another wretched figure dying by his side. What sort of person should a citizen of the kingdom of forgiveness be?

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