• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 24 November 2017 17:30

Feast of Christ the King - 2017

Written by Fr Larry Nemer SVD

Fr Larry Nemer SVD 150I can remember being very impressed with the celebration of the Feast of Christ the King when I was in the Seminary. Pope Pius XI had instituted the Feast in 1925, just 21 years before I entered the Minor Seminary. It was very exciting to think about Jesus as a King. In those days we still knew what kings were about – power and wealth. We learned about kings in history and in literature. We had romantic and idealized notions about them and their status. And so we were happy to see paintings being done of Jesus in kingly robes. Some of the paintings even put Jesus on the Cross in kingly robes with a crown of gold. We were happy to be called servants of such a king.

Looking back I find it amazing how long those feelings of awe and respect for royalty stayed with me. I can remember the visit of Prince Philip to our College when I was in Cambridge. We were given strict instructions: “You don’t put out your hand to shake his unless he extends his hand first. You do not initiate any conversation but only respond to what he asks or says.” I was delighted to shake his hand and talk with him. It was my only contact with royalty but I got a sense of what it must have been like in the age of the great Kings and Queens of Europe. There was still an aura of “being special” connected with royalty.

But over the years I came to realize that Jesus was not a king like other earthly kings. There was no wealth connected with Jesus the King. He was born poor, lived a poor simple life, and died poor – and yet He was a King. Nor was he concerned about power and authority. He came to serve. He reached out to the poor and the lame. He healed those who were sick. He showed compassion for those who were suffering. He preached the good news of God’s love for all people, saints and sinners alike. He practiced open table fellowship with prostitutes and Pharisees alike. He would not respond with violence to those who rejected him. He picked twelve special people to follow Him, and then He served them. And yet He was a King.

Jesus wrote a whole new script for what it meant to be a king.

In today’s Gospel text we learn that Jesus as King will judge all of us. The criteria He will use will be those by which He Himself lived – a very different kind of royal criteria. He will not ask if we have the right understanding of the revelation He brought to us, or if we have carried out faithfully the commandments of the Church. He would separate the sheep from the goats (as a city boy I could never understand why this would be a difficult task, but when I was giving a workshop in Ethiopia and saw a shepherd driving a herd of sheep and goats I was amazed at how much they looked alike!) on the basis of whether or not we had lived by His values – caring for the poor and the homeless, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry and giving liquid to the thirsty, visiting those in prison, and welcoming the stranger.

I think it is easy for many of us (at least it is for me) to think I would behave in that way until I actually have to deal with the beggar who won’t go away and is embarrassing me or the alcoholic who keeps asking for money when I know all he wants is another drink or the prisoner who resents all that has happened to him or her and blames me and the system for the “injustice” done to him/her, or the “foreigner” who hasn’t even bothered to learn my language but yet wants me to help him/her.

In the end Jesus will be asking us: did you deal with others in need the way I did?

Recently I saw a performance of Les Miserables (for about the fifth time) and I was struck again with the closing words of the musical: to love another person is to see the face of God. Matthew seems to be saying the same thing in today’s Gospel. And that is what is means to be royalty in the Kingdom of Christ.