Thursday, November 19, 2009

Don't expect a Certificate!

Christ the King Year B

At the end of a course, we usually expect a certificate to proof that we have completed the course. The certificate would also sometimes include a record of our performance. For example, at the end of our studies in school, we get a certificate to show the grades we received in our final exam. Today is the last day of the Church’s liturgical year. Perhaps, we would also be expecting some form of certificate to proof that we have been living good lives according to the teachings of the Church. If our performance has not been so well, if we feel that we have not live as good Catholics, we may feel a bit embarrassed about this certificate.

I’m sorry to disappoint you because the values of God are not the same as the values of the world. Jesus reminds us of this in today’s gospel. In answer to Pilate’s question about whether he is the king of the Jews, Jesus replies: “Mine is not a kingdom of this world.” But Jesus is king, though of a different kind. He says: “Yes, I am a king, I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.”

Just say that if we were to receive a certificate from Jesus, what would be points that would really matter to him and God. Well, the certificate would not be a record of our successes – how well we have done this or that. What matters is not success but faithfulness – have we been faithful to God? Have we been faithful to Jesus’ call to be his disciples? Have we been faithful to all that Jesus has taught us?

Secondly, the certificate would not be concerned with our status or position. Power and status have no place in the kingdom of God. It is only service that matters. Jesus is King but not a king who lords it over others. He is a Servant king. Have we served our brothers and sisters, especially those who are weak and the poor? Have we given them our time and our assistance without expecting anything in return?

Thirdly, the certificate would not record the number of times we pray or attend masses or formations. These things are important. But more important than these is the conversion that must take place within our lives. As we look back this entire year, do we see changes within ourselves? Have we become more committed Christians? Have we been able to overcome some area of sin which we were struggling with before this?

Today, as we celebrate this Feast of Christ the King, let us echo the words found in today’s second reading taken from the book of the Apocalypse: “Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the First-Born from the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth. He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood, and made us a line of kings, priests to serve God and Father; to him, then, be glory and power for ever and ever.” Let us be witnesses of Christ the King by allowing him to be king and lord of our lives.

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