Jesus Is King Of the Little Ones

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The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe, 26 November 2017
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus, King of the Universe
Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17//1Corinthians 15:20-26,28//Matthew 25:31-46

About 25 years ago when I was still covering the police and military-defense beat as a reporter for GMA News, we used to refer to the first PNP Director General Cesar Nazareno as “reha-reha” or simply “reha” which is the inverted form of “hari” or king. We called him reha not because he was the king of the entire police force but due to his family name “Nazareno” – the “Jesus Nazareno” of Quiapo Church. Now that is what you really call as “petmalu”, even “lodi” as our generation was not only into inverting words but also conveying deeper meanings!

Come to think of this: the second most popular Catholic devotion in our country next to the Santo Nino is “Jesus Nazareno”, Christ the King dressed in maroon velvet with intricate gold embroidery, crowned with thorns and carrying a cross in a kneeling position that is the exact opposite of the world’s kings and queens dressed beautifully whose lives are wrapped in so much mystery as well as intrigue. They live in huge mansions and palaces served by people steeped in protocols. Most of all, they hold vast amounts of wealth and power in their hands and could only be seen from afar by their subjects. It is totally a world apart from the kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ who evokes the imagery of a “Shepherd-King” so common in the Middle East in ancient times: “Thus says the Lord God: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly.”(Ez. 34: 11,12b,16)

It is from this Old Testament reading do we find the meaning of Christ’s parable in our Gospel today from which is based one of the songs we memorized in Grade II for our First Holy Communion: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.”(Mt.25:40) The Kingship of Jesus Christ is a kingship of humility and service for the little ones, the marginalized, of those taken for granted, and for sinners ostracized by the self-righteous. His is a kingship not separated nor domineering on others but one that is willing to go down with the rest so that in the end, in His triumphant return, the full glory of being one with the little ones would be revealed in all its splendor. His Kingship is more of being the Good Shepherd who surely intervenes to protect the weak and those most vulnerable from the corrupt and the bullies of this world. “As for you, my sheep, says the Lord God, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.”(Ez.34:17)

This prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus Christ who had come and would come again in the end of time. Woe to those who felt above the rest, lording them over, unmindful and indifferent with the sufferings of others. It is a certainty that at the Second Coming of Christ our King, they would be harshly judged not merely because of their sinful and wrongful acts but precisely because of their refusal to be with the King of Kings. “Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do to me.”(Mt.25:45) Evidently, these people have a different king being followed, not Christ. These are the people who often claim to be their own men or women, not subject to anybody else except to their very selves, their own beliefs, their own whims, their own caprices – therefore, still under dominion and not totally free! In the Kingship of Jesus Christ, there is no domination but more of freedom where one is totally free to love, totally free to forgive, totally free to serve, totally free to be one’s self as a faithful child of God. Jesus Christ is King because everything is subjected to Him as St. Paul told us in the second reading: “When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.”(1Cor.15: 26)

When Pope Pius XI established this feast in 1925, the world was undergoing so many changes wherein man was fast drifting apart from God and from others. Situations and circumstances today may be different from that time but still basically the same problem exists: our continued disintegration as a family of persons and the deepening alienation of every man and woman from their very selves despite the material affluence and abundance we now enjoy. Deep inside every person is a longing for peace and joy that is lasting and true, leading to one’s fulfillment. Our fulfillment as persons can only be found in Christ Jesus who became human like us to be one with our pains and sufferings so that we would be one in His glory when He returns at the end of time. This is the meaning of our celebration today of Christ the King: we have a true King with whom we could all be one with because He shares our longings and our sentiments. He cares for us and wants only the best for us. He recognizes as His own those who act like Him, those who love and care like Him, moved by the same concern like Him in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and those in prison. When He comes back in His glory to inaugurate His Kingdom, may He find us all living just like Him. Amen.

Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II,
Parokya ni San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista,
Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan3022.

Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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