Solemn Feast of Christ the King

This year, we said goodbye to a king – the king of pop, Michael Jackson. All over the world, tribute and high praises, public adulation and open fanaticism were widely seen. People who wanted to see Michael in life, wanted to have more of him now in death. And yet, all these quests for the spirit of Michael Jackson cannot hide the fact that he is dead and will never return to dominate the world of entertainment and music again. Like other kings we knew, Michael’s time is over.

How easily fascinated we are with personalities we turn into idols. People follow them like crazy, imitating their styles and moves, following their words and actions. We are also entranced by the latest fads, fascinated with this or that fashion, this or that technological breakthrough, this or that emerging philosophy. But soon, these celebrities, fads, gadgets or ideas pass like mist absorbed by the air, to be replaced by newer and fresher ones.

As we close another liturgical year, the gospel reminds us of what is constant in the life of the world. We meet the one whom God has ordained as the unique and unchanging Ruler of all – His Son Our Lord Jesus Christ. As Christians, we hail him as the King of both creation and history, of the material world and of human destiny, of the life today and the life to come.

If we meet the “lesser kings” of our lives with excitement and warm welcome, how do we receive the King whose rule lasts forever? The gospel is as relevant in the time of Jesus as it is today. Many times, we refuse entry to Jesus the King. Often, we ignore the presence of the King in our midst.

The gospel shows the ordeal of Jesus before he was crucified. He spoke the truth to Pilate and to his other interrogators. Still, it was not enough to conquer their unbelieving minds. Truth was met with refusal. Truth was met with unbelief and callousness of conscience. It is difficult to look truth in the eye because it will take us where we have not dreamt of going, where we do not want to go. How many times have we seen this episode repeated today?

Recently in Europe, a court decided that crucifixes must be removed from the public school classrooms and other public places. A woman complained that the crucifix violated the freedom of her children in school; their freedom not to believe in God. In the USA, every symbol of Christmas can be displayed in public property, except the central symbol – the Nativity scene. All in the name of separation of Church and State.

There is a growing difficulty in understanding Jesus’ kingship. Jesus himself said, that his kingdom does not belong to this world. His kingdom confronts the heart, every heart that seeks for meaning and truth. Yes, it is not of this world, a world that understands only the superficial and fleeting. His kingship penetrates the heart with the truth he brings. Do you have a place for Jesus in your heart, in your family, in your business? Do we really have a place for him in our country? Then we must live in the truth and let go of the lies we have believed for so long. And this is the truth – that our God is love and this pure, authentic love wants to govern and direct our lives. We pray for the readiness to allow Jesus to be King of our entire lives.

Fr. Ramil R. Marcos