Saturday, November 25, 2006
Solemnity of Christ the King
November 26, 2006
Solemnity of Christ the King - B
As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man
coming, on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and
was presented before him, the one like a Son of man received dominion,
glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His
dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his
kingship shall not be destroyed.
Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and
ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us
from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for
his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even
those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him.
Yes. Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "the one
who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty."
Pilate said to Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered,
"Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?" Pilate
answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests
handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom
does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to
the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here." So Pilate said to him,
"Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I
was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
Today's feast is quite unique. We proclaim Christ as our King. Most
of the kings we read about in history are not ideal leaders. Majority
of them are even tyrants. As the British statesman, Lord Acton puts it,
"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Today's only kings are ceremonial figures such as the king of England
or the king of Sweden. Monarchy and kingdoms ruled by kings with
absolute power as a political system are a thing of the past.
However, we continue to cherish the notion of king itself, purified of
its political meaning of absolute power. Today, we speak of kings and
queens in the context of beauty pageant and fiestas, or to signify
excellence in beauty or quality of certain products. It is as if we
could not give up the idea that somehow, when someone has reached a
certain level of excellence, he is considered a king. In other words,
we have transposed the notion of royalty from politics to economics,
finance, entertainment, fashion, sports, etc. In all these areas of
life, we give the title king spontaneously to a person who is supreme,
or highly successful in some field or to something supreme in its
The reason for the obstinate use of the term "king," when there are
no more kings around, is probably that deep inside our hearts, we are
still searching for a real king - that is, for someone, who would
finally deserve to be our king, because precisely he would be
"supreme in his class," - a real role model. We yearn for someone
we could trust absolutely. We long for a king, who would wield absolute
power without ever abusing it. In other words, we dream of a man who
would be utterly trustworthy, who would be utterly loving, wise,
understanding, and good.
Today's Gospel reading shows forth such a man. He is Jesus of
Nazareth. He fulfills all the conditions of an ideal king.
First of all, he is king by birth and origin, being the very Son of
Secondly, he can never be dethroned or impeached, since he now reigns
at the right hand of God forever.
Thirdly, his power can never be tyrannical, because it is not imposed;
it is merely proposed, not imposed to anyone who wants to accept it
Fourthly, his power is based only on self-sacrificial love.
Consequently, this king has no armed forces, no political party, no
propaganda machine, no Department of Dirty Tricks, no police, no
judiciary, and no prison. His only weapon, if we may call it such, is
truth - that is, the revelation of what God is, a loving Father for
all of mankind. As Jesus himself says, "The reason I was born, the
reason why I came into the world, is to testify to the truth." And
because of this, he can only appeal to those who are interested in the
truth - those, who have committed their lives to honesty in all its
forms, to righteousness, to fidelity. That is why Jesus says, "Anyone
committed to the truth hears my voice."
When Jesus was saying these words, he was standing in judgment before
Pontius Pilate, looking in Pilate's eyes, appealing for him to choose
the truth. Pilate did not. Instead of listening to the voice of his
conscience, the voice of truth, he chose to silence Jesus and his
conscience by condemning Jesus to death. But Jesus rose from the dead
and now speaks to each one of us. And each one of us must decide for
himself or herself whether or not Jesus is his or her king.
Now, that is a crucial decision, and a difficult one. For Jesus warns
us, "My kingdom is not of this world." Naturally, Jesus wants to
reign in this world, that is, in every area of life (business,
politics, social affairs, education, entertainment, sports, etc.). But
he wants to reign through our free acceptance of his values, not
through the means of the world (money, power, fame, violence, hatred,
lust, and oppression). To choose him as my king means that we give up
making ourselves the center of things and that, instead, we make him
the center of things. Do I want him to be my king day after day, at
work, in my family, at school, in my recreational activities, in my
business? Today Jesus is looking straight into my eyes and asking me,
"Do you want me to be your king?" What shall I answer him?
Each one of us is in the process of deciding whether we'll accept
God's love or reject it. Each one of us is in the process of deciding
whether we'll live happily with God forever and ever. The choice is
yours. How will your story end?
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- In Memoriam (+): Bertran Yu Lai (Sept 19, 1965 - Nov 24, 1996)
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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