First Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Today’s reading builds on the common, ancient Near Eastern metaphor of the king as shepherd. Judah’s unjust rulers have caused their people, their “flock,” to be scattered. Nevertheless, God will raise up a new and righteous shepherd who will rule a restored Judah.
Second Reading: Colossians 1:11-20
An early Christian hymn praises the mystery of the political, personal, and mystical Christ, the one who was present at creation and is eternally reigning with God.
Gospel: Luke 23:33-43
Amid scoffing and slander from those who sarcastically call him Messiah and king, Jesus reveals that to be Messiah and king is to give one’s life for others. Here he uses his power to welcome a despised sinner to paradise but puts his own death into God’s hands.