SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING
(White) Cycle C/Year II (November 20, 2016)
2 Sm 5:1-3/Col 1:12-20/Lk 23:35-43
Every day we feel that there is more need of a messiah than ever. There is much chaos in our nation and even in the whole world. The modern society demands so much that we have to try harder each day in order for us to live comfortably and at par with the rest of the community. Sometimes we feel over burdened by the challenges of life that we think it is better to simply give up than to continue fighting for nothing. But then there is a light of hope in our hearts. We look for a messiah, a savior to help us in our needs. We turn to Christ whom we know to be the Messiah. We pray and hope. But then time flies and still we find ourselves in the same situation. We then question Jesus the way He was questioned by the criminal hanging on the cross beside Him: “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us” (Lk 23:39b).
The longing for a messiah is deep within each of us and we feel it all the more whenever we are triggered by the demands of life. We question God: Does God care? Does He love me? God never stops loving us and He cares for us. The proof is that He sent His Son on the cross for our sake and for our salvation. Jesus Christ, our Savior, sacrificed His life for the love of us. He is the Messiah who suffers for the love of us. He is our King who, instead of wearing a crown of gold, wears a crown of thorns so that in His suffering He may lift us up in His glory.
Oftentimes it is hard for us to understand why our Savior needs to suffer and die on the cross. But then when we look at the history of salvation, we discover that it is through His cross and suffering that He has saved us from eternal damnation. Consequently, for us followers of Jesus, sufferings and pains are not negative things that must depress us. They are rather instruments of our purification and salvation because without the cross we can never be saved. Jesus Christ reminds us of this truth in His words: Whoever wants to follow me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. Indeed, the cross and sacrifice are but essential parts of our Christian life. We have to carry them and persevere with them the way Jesus did.
Jesus carried His cross up to Calvary where He offered His life for us. As Christians, we are heading towards our own Calvaries, towards our own crucifixion, which is death to our sins and our selfishness. It was a hard thing to carry the heavy cross, but it was even harder to suffer crucifixion. Jesus Christ persevered and endured such sufferings simply because He did it for love. If we do our daily sacrifices for the love of God and our neighbor, then our pains and sufferings become tolerable and easier to carry as witnessed by St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians: Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Our Savior is the Divine King; He is the King of Love. He saves us by loving us and doing all things for the sake of love.
As we celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King, let us commit ourselves to making Jesus our King and Savior. We do this by fulfilling our obligations at home, at work, in our Church and in our society with love. When we do everything for love, then we glorify God. God then showers us with His blessings and graces for us to persevere and endure all things. With God we can do all things.