Questioning authority

by | Nov 18, 2014 | Formation, Reflections

Vincent EucharistThirty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (A), November 23, 2013 – Ez 34, 11-12. 15-17; 1 Cor 15, 20-26. 28; Mt 25, 31-46

That God may be all in all (1 Cor 15, 28)

The kingship of Jesus Christ puts into question all other kingship. He alone has full rights to everybody’s loyalty.

It is as questionable to call anyone a king as to call him Rabbi, father or master. There is only one. Moreover, even a good Rabbi, father or master is not wholly blameless.

There is only one who is totally good and does not disappoint, God. He never takes back his love from even the unfaithful or, as St. Vincent de Paul puts it, “he never abandons even a wicked man who hopes for his mercy” (Coste IV:317-318).

God is the exceedingly kind Father. He has shown through Christ’s death the breadth, length, height and depth of his love. He is the Great King who has subjected everything to his Son. To guide us closely always, he has appointed Chief Rabbi or Teacher the one who is the way, the truth and the life.

Jesus alone suffices; he is everything to us. He is the King of our dreams and longings. In contrast to proud worldly kings who claim for themselves the so-called divine right of kings and hold on desperately to the cappa magna, Jesus lets go of his royalty and takes the form of a slave.

Jesus is nothing like those rulers who brutally abuse those under their care. Our King is the spitting image of his Father who ousts the negligent and opportunistic shepherds and takes charge personally of his sheep, tending them, giving them rest, seeking the lost, healing the injured, and separating sheep from goats.

The King of the universe is undoubtedly the definitive answer to the prayers of the lowly who sing Psalm 72. Jesus governs the people with justice and the oppressed with right judgment. He destroys evil and ushers in the eternal kingdom of peace, justice and charity. He defends the needy, taking pity on them. Their blood is precious in his sight; hence, he rescues them from oppression.

And he affirms and promotes the worth of the poor so much that he identifies with them. He will later use them as the decisive criterion of judgment: they will inherit the kingdom, those who help the needy; those who do not, will have to depart from him. These last ones, for making those without anything feel ashamed at the Lord’s Supper and for letting them go hungry, will eat the bread of tears to its last tiniest piece and drink to the dregs the wine of God’s fury.

Lord Jesus, grant that we may contemplate you and serve you in the poor and may one day be united with you and with them in your kingdom.

Ross Reyes Dizon

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