Reflection shared by Fr. Mar Masangcay, CSsR (Filipino Missionary in South Korea)
In a rather busy and crowded bus terminal in Manila, a PWD (person with disability) foreigner was found trying to find his way, hoping to catch his bus. While sitting and waiting for his bus, a young OFW (overseas Filipino worker) saw and sensed the PWD foreigner’s confusion, came and approached the foreigner, and said, “May I have of some assistance, Sir?” “O, Thanks. I’ve been trying to find my way, hoping I would not miss my 9am bus to Baguio”. The OFW replied, “No worry, Sir. I’m on the same trip. We could come together.” Gladly the foreigner sat with him, waiting for their bus. As the bus arrived, the OFW helped the PWD to his seat, and then bids farewell to find his own seat. Suddenly the PWD said to the OFW, “Many thanks, Man. Are you Jesus?”
Christmas proclaims in the gospel of St. John: “The word became flesh and live with us. He was in the world and the world came to be through Him…But the world did not know Him … and his people did not accept Him.” Although Christianity is universal, world-wide, international and multicultural, we cannot deny that our Lord Jesus Christ, we believe in, is still unknown and unaccepted in the world. Others may have heard and seen about Jesus from others, but most of us have not meet and experienced Jesus personally. And most of us are, even in faith still longing and searching for Jesus intimately. In others words, in our disabilities and being foreigner/migrant to discover God’s life, we are still finding our ways to wander “Are you Jesus? Is this Jesus?” – hoping to catch a glimpse of God through Jesus, God’s word who lives with us in our daily lives.
On this last Sunday of liturgical year, today we honor Christ the King. We celebrate the Kingship of Jesus Christ, confirming of His reign, presence and rule in our lives today. However, His Kingship is best portrayed to us, not Him in some precious throne and with pearly crown, but Him hanging on a cross wearing a crown of thorns and among criminals.
As our gospel today shows us, while even on the hour of his death, Our Lord and King Jesus still speaking and sharing words of hope and compassion to all those who come near Him. His reign, presence and rule in our life is thus best revealed to us by His continuing sharing and spreading of God’s good News of love, mercy, hope, compassion & faith to our world in the story of His life, mission, suffering, death, resurrection and glory.
Meaning, whenever and everytime we experience in our life love, kindness, mercy, compassion, kindness hope and faith, shown by us both as receiver – like the PWD, and as giver – like the OFW, God’s grace – along with the kingship of Jesus, is with us and in our midst. As a church song proclaims, “they will know we are Christians by our love”. By our experience of love and of loving in life, we and others may come to know that “we are of Christ”, “we are of Jesus”. Thus, God’s word and kingdom is with us; and our Lord and King Jesus life, mission, and reign live with us, as we still always experience in life love, hope, compassion and faith.
Now, to always discover the Emmanuel, God amongst us, and also to be “of Jesus, of Christ” personally in our life and world today, as PCP II suggests, the challenge for us Catholics, especially Filipino Catholics, is to retell (tell again & again) the Jesus story to ourselves so that we can tell him to others. In other words, Kilalalin natin muli at lagi si Jesus sa ating sarili, upang atin siyang maipakilala sa mundo.
Preach and proclaim Jesus to yourself so that you can share Him to others. Be personal with Jesus so that in you and through you, He can and will also be personal to others. In other words, Represent Jesus (present him again) to oneself, so that He will be also present to others who are longing for Him in life.
Lord, even in our faith, we also are wandering “are you or is this Jesus?” – still longing and searching to discover you in our lives. As you have revealed to us, may our experience of love and loving you and others in life, allow us to retell your story, and let others tell your story to ourselves, so that we can tell and share You, as well as to “be Jesus” to others who also searching and wanting to be near and personal with you. Amen.