• 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, 23 November 2018 17:16

Feast of Christ the King - 2018

Written by Fr Larry Nemer SVD

Fr Larry Nemer SVD 150Back in the 1950s, when I was still in the Seminary, the Feast of Christ the King was celebrated in Grand Fashion.  We had a very solemn liturgy with a procession/parade fit for an earthly king.  During the procession we sang Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat – Christ conquers, Christ rules, Christ is in command. Back in the 1950s, when I was still in the Seminary, the Feast of Christ the King was celebrated in Grand Fashion.  We had a very solemn liturgy with a procession/parade fit for an earthly king.  During the procession we sang Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat – Christ conquers, Christ rules, Christ is in command.  We took all the signs of royalty in this world and attached them to Christ.  There were even crucifixes made at that time with Christ on the Cross, not bowed and bloody but dressed with royal garments, and instead of a crown of thorns on His head He had a golden crown, just like earthly kings.  It was a joyful feast because we celebrated the victory that had been won – we were the powerful ones.

However, after Vatican II Scripture scholars began to focus more on the humanity of Jesus.  They talked of His human growth and learning, of His weakness and His doubts, especially during the time of His passion, of His submission to torture and death.  They reminded us that Jesus had said to Pilate that He was indeed a King, but his kingdom was not of this world.  He would not rely on power, riches or prestige to bring about His kingdom.  Instead he would rely on humility, poverty and weakness.  Yet even in this guise He was truly a King.  It was in this way that He conquers, He rules, and He is in command.  

Artists have since then stopped trying to portray Him as a Medieval or Modern King with all the trappings of wealth and power.  Spiritual writers and preachers would no longer describe Him as one who brings victory through power and masterful control but one who brings victory through poverty, weakness, and above all service.  Jesus indeed comes to us as King, but as a King who cares about and serves everyone.

I had the good fortune of living in England for 12 years – 6 years as a doctoral student and 6 years as the President of a Theological Institute.  In the course of that time I was able to overcome my basic American prejudice against royalty.  I began to recognize the importance of the pageantry – important not only for the royal family but also for all the people.  One could sense their participation in the royalty of their Queen and her family.  They could rejoice in who their monarchs were and could be grateful for their service.

One incident particularly made a deep impression on me.  We were celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.  The parade to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Church service were moving.  (I told friends afterwards that I felt like the Queen had waved to me, but they said it was my imagination.)  The day ended with a parade up Pall Mall to Buckingham Palace, the royal couple walking that final distance.

The Queen had said that she wanted to be led up Pall Mall and into her home in Buckingham Palace by the actors from the Chickenshed Theatre. (You can find out about it on the internet.)  The theatre had been established by two marvelous women who believed that everyone should have a chance to act on stage, no matter what their background or their physical limitations were.  I saw a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream in which the Queen was carried in and laid on a bed because she was paralyzed from the neck down.  There were actors who had Down Syndrome, who were blind and had to be led around the stage, who were in wheel chairs, and who were deaf and therefore signed their lines.  It was the most moving performance of that Shakespearean play I had ever seen.

And it was this group of people that the Queen wanted to guide her home on this special anniversary.  It was a most touching scene – people being carried on the shoulders of others because they could not walk, people in wheelchairs, blind people guided by others – all of them having a wonderful time, laughing and supporting one another, while the people watching had tears in their eyes.  As I watched I could not help thinking: Jesus would be so pleased with this act of royalty – He would be happy walking behind all those physically limited but wonderful people as their King.

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