Sunday Gospel Reflection
Solemnity of Christ the King
John 18:33-37 | Nov. 21, 2021
Christ the Kin (Not a Typographical Error)
JM Nuqui – Campus Minister
In a world where people thirst even more for power and authority, does the Solemnity of Christ the King still have meaning? In this day and age, when democratic values are threatened, and dictatorship and authoritarianism have already penetrated the society, is it still wise to celebrate kingship? In a nation where dynasties sit and rule for years, what do we make of this great Feast of Christ the King? Is kingship really all about the use of power to silence critics, amass ill-gotten wealth, spread lies, and settle scores?
As we celebrate today’s solemnity, we realize that Jesus Christ the King is far from the idea of kingship we have today. Washing the feet of the disciples and calling them friends (and not slaves) is nowhere near our image of a king, neither is walking places and going to the margins, always being the first to approach the people. That’s why sisters and brothers, I personally rarely use the word “king” on Jesus. Kasi napakalayo Niya mula sa mga kilala nating hari, or better yet, naghahari-harian ngayon. Habang patuloy na nagpapakilala ang Diyos sa atin, we realize that Jesus’ kingship is kinship.
God has always desired for a relationship with us. Siya ang unang lumapit. Siya ang nakipanayam sa atin. Siya ang laging unang nagmamahal. At hindi ba ito ang nakita natin sa buhay, pagkatao, at misyon ni Hesus? Above anything else, Jesus introduced to us a way of relating to God: Abba, Father, Ama. Napaka-personal. Hindi malayo. He was, as Fr. Arnel Aquino, SJ would say, “hopelessly compassionate” and loved the company of the poor. Through his feeding and miracles, he brought out the best in people, always leading them to the Father’s love and embrace. Jesus forgave their sins—and thus restoring the relationship with God the Father—which the leaders of His time would forever condemn. Kinship. Pakikipag-relasyon sa atin.
Christ the King didn’t just establish and proclaim God’s Kingdom, but also God’s Kin-dom. Hindi ba kaya siya hinuli, pinahirapan, at pinako sa krus ay dahil sa iba ang pagpapakilala Niya sa Kaharian ng Diyos? While the people understood and expected a political messiah and kingdom, Jesus told stories of the kingdom being likened to a mustard seed, wheat stalks, pearl of great price, and yeast. Hindi monarchical; hindi militaristic. No threats and deaths. And from Jesus’ stories and parables, we always hear of a God who desires nothing but a deep and loving relationship with us. Mula noong umalis ang alibughang anak, araw-araw naghintay ang Ama para sa kanyang pagbabalik.
And here lies the challenge, sisters and brothers. We, who have a real, personal, and loving relationship with Him, must reflect in our lives the Jesus we know. Kung paulit-ulit tayong pinapatawad ni Hesus sa ating relasyon sa Kanya, sino tayo upang ipagkait ang kapatawaran sa iba? If our encounter with Jesus makes us value the sanctity of life, why support those who kill? Kung palagi tayong binabalik ni Hesus sa Ama, bakit natin pinupuri ang mga taong naghahasik ng kasinungalingan at poot na humahantong sa pagkakawatak-watak?
Once we are already in a relationship with Jesus, we don’t have the right to be Pilates anymore—he who doesn’t know Jesus personally. Kapag namulat na tayo sa katotohan na si Hesus lamang ang tunay at nag-iisang Hari, kasalanan na ang pumikit at sumamba sa mga naghahari-harian lamang. But don’t you worry, my dear friends. Jesus is Christ the Kin. God’s kingdom is always a kin-dom. Lagi Niyang ipaglalaban ang ating relasyon sa Kanya. Dahil sa kaharian ng Diyos, tayo’y palaging pinapatawad, niyayakap, at tinuturing na mga anak.
Sa piling ng Diyos, tayo ay laging tinatanggap at minamahal.