Is Christ King in our country?

Word Alive by Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD  

November 24, 2019 /Solemnity of Christ the King

Today is the feast of Christ the King. When Jesus was crucified, a crude, 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 means “Ilocos Norte Region I.” So we joke that Jesus Christ is our kababayan.

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Is Christ really a king? When Jesus stood before Pilate, he was asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 

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 or political ruler whose followers would fight to liberate him.

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A true story is told that when Joseph Stalin, supreme head of the Central Communist Party of Russia, heard about the pope’s estate and Swiss guards, he asked sarcastically: “How many divisions (of soldiers) does the pope have?”  

Learning of Stalin’s sarcastic remark, the pope is quoted to have said, “Tell my son Joseph that he’ll find out in the next life.”

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In his book titled, His Word Resounds, Albert Cylwicki says: “Christ’s kingdom does not depend on military might, economic strength or political power. It is a spiritual kingdom that depends on faith, prayer and good works. It is a kingdom that promotes peace where there is violence, justice where there is exploitation and freedom where there is oppression.”

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It implies not just a place but God’s active rule or reign that permeates man’s hearts from which his motives, values and attitudes originate. That’s why Christ declared: “The kingdom of God is within you.”

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The questions are, “Is Christ the King in our country, in our homes and communities?” Are our society and families permeated with the values of justice, love, truth, and peace? 

God’s kingdom is not perfect as evident from so much injustices, greed, killings and kidnappings we see around us.

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Rather than get discouraged, we are called to be promoters and cooperators with God in bringing about the kingdom already here on earth.

There was a certain elementary school teacher, Beatriz Evangelista, fondly called “Tita Betty,” who was not contented with just teaching in the classroom. 

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So she volunteered her services to teach values education in the provinces and the inmates of Quezon City Jail in Kamuning. When Tita Betty retired, she increased her voluntary services until she died of cancer in May 2012. 

We may not do what Tita Betty did but we can emulate her spirit of doing something to help in building Christ’s kingdom  by moulding the minds of the young and the wayward.

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Let’s follow and promote Christ the King’s commands by protecting human rights, alleviate poverty, fight against oppression, and care for the last and least of our brethren.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. Going to Cubao before reaching Christ the King Seminary on E. Rodriguez Avenue, QC, you have to pass by other kings–Burger King, Tapa King, Allied BanKing, Padala King. So many kings but the greatest is Christ the King.

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A small boy asked his friend why his 80-year old lola (grandma) was always reading the Bible.

He replied: Because she’s cramming for her Final Exam!

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The FAMILY that prays together stays together.



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