We Proclaim the King
November 22, 2020
Feast of Christ the King
34th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
1 Corinthians 15:21-28
Bishop Ariel P. Santos
This is the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. Next Sunday will be the first Sunday of Advent and this opens the new year for the Liturgical Year and we carry the theme: “Steadfast in Faith, Joyful in Hope, Constant in Love”. In the midst of all situations, the Church continues to be one with Jesus Christ. We continue to be partakers of the Divine nature, and we don’t shrink back no matter what may face us. Nothing can stop the kingdom of God and its Church. Disasters may wreak havoc but we will spread hope and love. They may bring death, but we proclaim life as citizens of the kingdom of God!
We enthrone Jesus Christ and proclaim He is King by continuing Kingdom work. My signature ending after the homily is, “That is the way it is in the kingdom of our God.” Jesus only preached one thing: the kingdom of God. What is the kingdom of God? Where is the kingdom of God? Some think it is in the life after here on earth or in outer space. We proclaim that the kingdom of God is here! Some parts of it have been compromised so that they do not display the fullness of the Kingdom. Where the doing of God's will is, there is the fullness of His kingdom. Technically speaking, it is all the kingdom of God, but we manifest the fullness of the Kingdom and Jesus is King there. Where the Spirit is Lord, there is liberty.
The kingdom of God is not about theology or getting the right theology. It is not proving who is right or wrong or who is holier, wiser or better. Love is the only theology in the kingdom of God. Nobody can dispute this and nobody can consider us wrong if we have love.
When I was younger and had a job, I thought that I had life figured out. I thought I knew better than my parents. I argued with my Mother and I disrespected her. I heard God clearly saying to me, “Having a point is not the point; submission and respect is; love is.” Submission and respect will solve the problem, not the argument.
Matthew 25 shares that the sheep were told to enter the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of world. There is a kingdom prepared for us, and God has chosen gladly to give this Kingdom. As it has been prepared for us, we need to prepare ourselves as well to inherit that kingdom properly. We do this by being bona fide citizens of the Kingdom – in good faith and in good standing. In the government, the number one requirement as a law-abiding citizen is to pay our taxes and obey the law. If not, we end up in unpleasant situations. Clubs and organizations have fees and rules for its members and these are monitored. Some churches feel that they have to do so like checking on their member’s attendance. It is normal, but our stand is we teach and we exhort. We let people know the way it is in the kingdom of God.
Before the Judge all of us will stand. The Judge won’t check if we are baptized or we have said the Sinner’s Prayer, though we should. He won’t note that we didn’t kill, cheat, steal, lie, or covet. We shouldn’t do these things, but according to the parable today, the judgment is less about the wrong we didn’t do but more about the good things that we do. The Judge will recall if we ministered to the least of the brethren.
In the gospels, the sin of omission is more serious than sin of commission in the eyes of God. Jesus seemed to be “easier” on sinners of commission like the tax collectors, the prostitutes and the thief but “harder” on sinners of omission like the Pharisees who neglected the needy, the priest/Levite who ignored the man on the road whom the Samaritan took care of or even the servant who neglected the one talent that he was given.
The gospels show us how to thrive in the Kingdom, that is, to minister to the least and concentrate on the weightier provisions of justice, mercy, faithfulness (commitment) toward the least of Jesus' brothers. Make Christ the King by furthering the kingdom, not His enemy’s kingdom. The ruler of this world promotes advancement of self at the expense of others where it is said, “You bow to and you serve me. You give me your talent. You give me your fame, your power and your body. I kill you because you disrupt my life.” This is the kingdom of the world.
How does Jesus reign? It is by giving His life. Our reward will be not being the governor of several cities and collecting taxes for ourselves. Our reward is the joy of the Lord that He finds in serving all cities of world.
The inscription above Jesus’ head on the cross is INRI – Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews (God’s people.) The cross is Jesus' throne. He reigns as King on the cross and the inscription says, “This is how the King reigns.” God’s people King reign by giving His life – not by lording it over others or taking life. God’s people reign with Him as well – by giving our lives, sacrificing, dying to inconvenience, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and visiting the prisoners because this is just the way it is in the kingdom of our God!