Christ, king & judge

Credit to Author: Tempo Desk| Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2020 09:18:56 +0000

 

BY FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

 

 

wrd word alive bel san luis

TODAY is the feast of Christ the King. When Jesus was crucified, a wooden sign (caratola) was nailed over his head with the inscription INRI, which in Latin means “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum”; in English, “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.”

By the way, among the people of Ilocos Norte like me, INRI also means “Ilocos Norte Region I.”

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Is Christ really a king? Standing before Pilate, Christ did not deny that he was indeed a king. But then he said, “My kingdom does not belong to this world” (Jn 18, 36). Jesus’ reply means he was not the kind of king Pilate imagined: A military, political ruler, but rather a spiritual ruler.

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In this Sunday’s gospel, the figure that’s presented is a king who will judge us. He will decide on that final day who will or will not share his kingdom forever. It’s a dreadful scene but for those who’re faithful to Jesus’ teachings, it will be a day of glory.

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If you read carefully the parable of the Last Judgment (Mt. 25, 31-46), you will notice that our judgment will not depend on whether you’re a genius, a Miss Universe, the wealthiest man according to Forbes magazine, nor even our long prayers. Obviously, these are important but the Lord is saying that these should be put at the service of the “least, last, and lost” of society. Hence, the question that will be asked is: How much have you done or not done for them?

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The late Mother Teresa now saint was deeply moved by Jesus’ Parable of the Last Judgment that she left behind her work in a school devoting her whole life among the poorest of the poor, thus earning the title “the Saint of the Gutters.” She said, “I want to go to Heaven that’s why I follow Jesus’ teaching of caring and devoting my life for the poor.”

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Of course, not all of us can emulate the difficult work of the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta. But we must always have her SPIRIT of charity which propels us to do works of mercy.

There are Catholics who believe, sincerely or otherwise, that as long as they go to church on Sunday, receive communion, and avoid evil, they’re good Christians. But as St. James the apostle puts it: “Faith without works is dead.”

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Doing good could mean providing one’s helpers and workers security for their old age (SSS), sick leave, or housing benefits. In these times of COVID-19 pandemic and devastating typhoons like “Ulysses,” the Lord expects us to reach out to the poor victims through financial help, food, and medical needs, as well as prayers.

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A man says: “What scares me most is when God says to Mother Teresa on Judgment Day, ‘Teresa, you should have done more good works.’

And there I am – right behind her!”

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The feast of Christ the King is both a REMINDER and a CHALLENGE – a reminder of the Lord’s second coming and Final Judgment and also a challenge to do more for the “least, last, and lost.”

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LAUGH WITH GOD. A man confided to his friend, “I went to see my doctor about my heart ailment. He told me to change my lifestyle. No smoking, no drinking, no meat.”

“So what happened, did you change your lifestyle?” the friend said. “No, I changed my doctor,” he replied. (Isn’t that our attitude too; we change God if we don’t like his prescription for us).

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BIRTHDAY GIFT. Dear Readers, last Thursday I celebrated my birthday. May I request a birthday gift that is not really for me but for the seminarians we’re supporting in Christ the King Seminary on E. Rodriguez Boulevard, Quezon City. Moreover whatever amount you will donate will partly go to the victims of typhoon Ulysses.<
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