November 22, 2020 – Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus, King of the Universe
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112220.cfm)
If you google the word: “Cristo Roto or Broken Christ” in the net, you will be led into a place in Aguascalientes, Mexico where there stood a massive 25 meters bronze statue of Christ above the city dam. Considered to be the 10th largest statue of Jesus in the world, what makes it special is that it is broken. An image of Crucified Jesus stand suspended without a cross, with a missing right arm and a snapped off leg. It was based on the story told about Fr. Ramon Cue who found a broken and desecrated crucifix in an antique shop, and bought it in view of restoring it for his parish. Once home however while in prayer before the broken Christ, Christ himself pleads to the priest that it to be left broken & not restored, so that it could stir in the priest & in his parishioners the need to both ‘see’ & ‘serve’ the broken Christ’s in their midst. Known now as Santuario del Cristo Roto (Santuary of the Broken Christ), the massive Broken Christ statue is a famous religious pilgrim and devotion site, and a popular stop for Mexican migrants crossing the US, where faithful considered it as a savior of the lost causes.
Today is the Solemnity of Christ the King. Consider the image of Christ the King. Usually the image shows us all the symbol & promptings of honor and glory depicted proper & usual for a king (crown, thrown, orb, scepter & robe). But notice, what is most peculiar in the usual image of Cristo Rey are His exposed swelling inflamed heart & His barefoot. These peculiarities somehow highlight the distinction of Christ’s kingship from the usual human kings. Barefooted-king symbolizes Christ as a humble Shepherd king who is on-the-go, in-touch, and grounded in His people’s lives. Exposed swelling inflamed heart symbolizes Christ as the loving Lord King who is hands-on, feel with, empathizing, all-out, compassionate & merciful to us His people. Above all, both His open heart & exposed feet are reminders that our Lord & King Jesus Christ is a Broken, Suffered, Wounded yet Victorious & Glorious Servant King-Shepherd who still needs & longs for our praise & loving service with Him in our Father’s kingdom. A glorious King, indeed yet remains a broken Christ so that we may see & serve Him in our midst, in our day to day lives & thus, continue His work & contact-presence with us in life. A forever kingly yet still broken Christ in our midst.
The kingship of Christ reminds us that, FOR US, God is our Shepherd king. For our sake, He choose to be our Shepherd King. Through our readings today, we recognize that like a good shepherd, Yahweh HIMSELF tends us His flock: a hands-on God-king who look after, tend, rescue, pasture, give rest, seek, bring back and heal us His people for the sake of our salvation, fulfilled fully (no more, no less) through the witness & shepherding of our Lord Jesus Christ. And on the day of Reckoning, Jesus will account & segregate the worthy from the unworthy (sheep among the goats) of eternal life with our Father.
And the kingship of Christ reminds us as well that ALONG WITH US, God is our family or rather we are His family & His son Jesus is our brother who is mostly with the least of our family. In our gospel today, both the worthy & unworthy ask the Lord “When did we see you…?” His response is Ubi Caritas: loving service to others – “whatsoever you do to the least, that you do unto me”. In other word, Jesus is the “me in the least of our brothers/our family” – the broken Christ in our midst who needs our loving service. And how we treat Him in the least of us is the standard measurement of us to be worthy or unworthy of being & living with Yahweh, our Father.
Christ’s kingship is thus expressed at its best & should be seen and served as our Lord Jesus, the Shepherd King FOR us, and the broken Christ WITH US, especially in the least of us in our midst.
The solemnity of Christ the King marks the end of our liturgical year. Like in the airport’s pre-departure area, as we bid farewell to the pandemic year that has been & a prepare for the next year’s promise & challenges in our spiritual travel-journey, perhaps we ask ourselves:
- How have I experienced God’s shepherding in my life this year? In what ways Jesus have tended, rescued, pastured, protected & healed me this year? How the Lord Jesus is for me & with me this year?
- How did I participate & contribute in His shepherding of me & us all? What have I have done for Him? How have I been with Him, an obedient & faithful sheep OR a dumb-ass & hard-headed goat? What have I done to the least of my brothers? Have I been His frontliners who do something for those who are need at this time OR have I been a KAREN, a proud entitled jerk who complains a lot & carelessly put others lives at risk for undermining protocols & breaking guidelines? Have I recognized, “see & serve” Him in my life & in our midst?
As we have a closer look of our life & mission as His flock & people, reimagine our being & living with God, and make some resolutions to do better in life & faith anew, may the lyrics of songs below inspire & guide us to be worthy of Our Christ the King in our midst. Amen.
I MAY NEVER PASS THIS WAY AGAIN (Perry Como (1958))
I’ll give my hand to those who cannot see,
The sunshine or the fallin’ rain.
I’ll sing my song to cheer the weary along,
For I may never pass this way again!
I’ll share my faith with every troubled heart, So I shall not have lived in vain.
I’ll give my hand, I’ll sing my song,
I’ll share my faith, because I know,
That the time is now to fulfill each vow,
For I may never pass this way again!
PAG-AALAY NG PUSO (Nemy Que, SJ)
Minsan lamang ako daraan sa daigdig na ito.
Kaya anuman ang mabuting maa’ring gawin ko ngayon. O anumang kabutihan ang maari kong ipadama? Itulot ninyong magawa ko ngayon ang mga bagay na ‘to.
Nawa’y h’wag ko ‘tong ipagliban o ipagwalang-bahala,
Sapagkat ‘di na ‘ko muling daraan sa ganitong mga landas