Mission Society of the Philippines

Homilies

LAST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME: SOLEMNITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE

Mt 25: 31-46


THE CELEBRATION OF the Solemnity of Christ the King simply intensifies our hopes of Christ’s coming in glory. Our readings for today are worth pondering because these talk about some themes of the end-time.

Firstly, one theme that is prevalent in the readings is one of an assembly or a gathering. In the gospel, we have heard that the end-time is marked by an assembly of all the nations. On human terms, a gathering or an assembly is something that we would look forward to. It is an event that we exert efforts for the preparation, and at the same time, an event in which we put our hopes and expectations. We have nothing to hope, but a success of the gathering. Similarly, the gathering in the end-time is something that we look forward to because this must be the fulfillment of what Jesus had preached, that is, the Kingdom of God. The “gathering of the nations” would be a spectacular event, for sure. What makes it more amazing is the fact that all will be in communion with Christ.

Secondly, another theme that comes to the fore is one of judgment. The first reading and the gospel both talk about the separation “of rams and goats,” “of sheep and goats.” Here, we feel a different kind of feeling. On the previous theme (i.e., assembly) there is a kind of excitement, expectation, and joy. But on this second theme, there could be an element of fear and anxiety because of the separation, and of the coming judgment. We are aware of some court cases in our midst. And we have observed that the “day of judgment” is something that people cannot easily handle. There is never an excitement. What they could have instead are worries, and fear. In a word, it is something negative.

We could have the same feelings on the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is also called as the Day of Judgment. However, the gospel gives us an idea that the key to dispel these worries and anxieties is service. As the gospel suggests, there are many ways how can we serve: feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, giving clothes to the naked, visiting the sick and the prisoners. Service is none other than love, it is love-in-action. If we have loved and served others then there is nothing to worry about. There is only one enemy or hindrance to service. That is, selfishness. A person who is selfish can never serve or love others because his world is only confined with his own world. But a person who starts “going out” of himself is a person who is capable to serve and to love.

Thirdly, it is important to reflect on who is this God who will stand before us on the judgment day. Yes, Christ is a judge. But Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explained this in another way. He said that on the Day of Judgment, it is not actually Christ who will stand as the judge. We are actually the judges of ourselves. He further explained that we don’t expect a surprise on that day. Through the way we live our life today, we have already an idea what would be our judgment on that day.  There is in truth in this statement. Christ will stand as a judge, but a just judge. However, Christ is not just a Judge. According to the second reading, He will also stand as King and Lord. In fact, everything will be subjected to him. As Lord, He is and will be the master of our life.

Today’s solemnity is a good reminder for us to correct our relationship with God. Christ is King and Lord and he should always remain as such. However, in real life, there are instances wherein we allow other people, other things, or even our own selves to rule over us. We allow others, other things, and our own selves to be masters of our life. In these cases, Christ has been totally out of the picture. Again, if we believe that Christ is the King, then, let us allow him to rule over our life. We surrender our life to him. AMEN.


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