The term “king” has uncomplimentary, silly connotation thanks to its use for such idols as Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, but its essential meaning is given in today’s Gospel: the man with power.
Here is the man who saved others, healed others, but he never used this power for himself. Yet, right to the end he showed his power by forgiving the sins of the good thief while assuring him of a place in paradise. And he manifests this power from his throne, the crucifix, on which he was nailed and mocked helplessly by men.
The people expected a triumphal king but they got a man dying naked on a cross. Right to the end he remained faithful to the Father. So it is on the cross that he saved the world and became king of the universe.
I will pray today in the light of the 2nd reading for the grace to appreciate the cross where God’s love for us becomes shockingly apparent, where Christ’s power is continuously manifested.