Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ave Christus Rex!

Today is the feast of Christ the King, also known as the last 'Ordinary' Sunday before Advent starts. It is not a title commonly referred to (at least not by me nor my friends), but it is one that demands response from us Christians. It is also quite a recent feast, instituted (only) in the early 20th century by Pope Pius XI.

Many years ago, I used to board with a Catholic family in Singapore. And since the lady was a catechist for children, I used to spend Saturdays preparing materials and/or artwork for the coming Sunday's catechism class. One of them, I remember clearly, was an illustration of Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey, followed by a hymn that says "we have a King who rides a donkey..." That was the extent of the significance of this feast to me then. Since then, many things have happened, to put it in brief.

Here's a King who proclaimed himself present in the least of our brothers. Here's a King who didn't shun the virgin's womb, a good King (and shepherd) who didn't shun suffering & humiliation on the Cross for the sake of saving his flock, his people. Here's a King who doesn't rule with mighty arms but with mighty love, who showed that the way to reign is by conquering one heart after another.

Is Christ really King in our life? Does Christ reign in our heart? Do I defer to Him when making decisions, when choosing between what's good and what's better, when deciding what to do with my time, with my talents, and in the way I respond to challenges?

We have a King who is victorious over the worst evil conceivable: for man to kill God. His victory should imbue all Christians with a sense of joy and optimism.

Pope Benedict XVI said, “Jesus is the Kingdom of God in person: the man in whom God is among us and through whom we can touch God, draw close to God. Wherever this happens, the world is saved.” Our Holy Father continued, "It means not losing heart in the face of resistance, adversity and scandal. It means overcoming every separation between faith and life, and countering false gospels of freedom and happiness."

Regnare Christum volumus!

1 comment:

Brano Willis said...

Hey Antonio, thanks for writing the articles, they are very interesting. I have been in a long term relationship with a catholic church in US. I'm a regular visitor there. Reading Ignatius Catholic Study Bible and more about Jesus from online material are making me feel like closer to God.