image from the internet


Today is a great and joyous feast, the end of our liturgical calendar, the summary of our faith – Jesus Christ is the King of the universe, the King of the world, the King of nations, the King of our hearts! All things are gathered under him.


Our first reading does not speak of a king seated on a throne or of a king marching into battle. Ezekiel offers us the image of what kingship really is in the mind of God.


The king is a true shepherd with tenderness and compassion for his sheep. In the midst of the dark, he looks for the lost.  The straying ones he patiently leads back to the fold.


He gives remedy to those who are wounded; the sick he tries to heal. The strong ones he disciplines so that he can teach them how to follow him rightly.


In the mind of God, the true king is the one who knows how to show mercy to his people. It is this type of king that the people listen to and follow freely and generously.


We started this year with challenges that brought much suffering and pain to people. There was the unexpected volcanic eruption that displaced communities and transformed nature.


This was followed by a virus pandemic that resulted in the sickness and death of so many around the world, and halted our daily affairs, giving rise to what we now call “new normal.”


As if these were not enough, the year’s end seems to invite one typhoon after another to our country, flooding areas, destroying crops and claiming lives, too.


This year we, God’s flock, his beloved people, have been sorely tested. Some people lost their faith in God. Some people lost their trust in the government. Others lost confidence in people and in systems.


That is why more than at any time in history, we speak today of mental health. We have been greatly shaken by challenges so enormous for us to bear. Many are depressed.


As Christians we turn to the Lord Jesus, our shepherd, our King.  When calamities come, whether from nature or manmade, we know that in him we will find help, companionship, understanding and peace.


Even if this year, for most of the time churches were closed, the Lord reached out to us in silence of our hearts, in prayers uttered in solitude, in religious services through social media, in readings from the Bible that uplift, inspire and strengthen us.


And as we experience the love and mercy of our King for ourselves and our families, we learn to care as he does, for the others who are less fortunate, who need our help more, and who we can easily reach out to in love.


On this feast of Christ the King, we thank the Lord that we have survived so far, because he is our refuge, and he gives shelter to our weary souls. We ask him to continue bestowing on us his blessings and giving us courage to confront even more challenges in the future while sharing love and mercy to others around us.


Viva Cristo Rey! Long live Christ the King!



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