34th Sunday - Jesus Christ the King
There is a story of a selfish woman who died and was standing for her final judgment.
St. Peter opened the Book of life to find if she did something good without expecting anything in return. Without finding any good deed, he asked if she remembers anything good she has done to someone. After much thinking, she said: "one time I had given a carrot to my neighbor."
St. Peter said that a good deed may help her to enter heaven. So He said he will hold the carrot and then she can hold on to another end and climb up to heaven... She gladly held to carrot and began to climb.. After sometimes, she felt heavy so she looked done to find out that other souls from down in hell were trying to hold on to her and try to climb into heaven. Being a selfish woman she said grumbled and said: "The grace of this good deed is only for me and not for you". And with force, she kicked them and at the same let go of the carrot and fell down and could not enter into heaven.
Whatsoever you have done to the least of my brothers and sisters, you have done it to me.
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Jesus Christ King of the universe. The liturgy invites us to reflect on our relationship with Jesus Christ, the King, and with all citizens of the Kingdom of God.
My Reflections are on these 3 words: Jesus Christ Pantocrator, Provider, and Protector.
Jesus Christ: The Pantocrator
Historically, the famous 6th-century icon of Jesus from the monastery of St. Catherine presented Jesus as Pantocrator means Jesus Christ Almighty. We have a similar icon on the main altar at St. Ann. This icon presents that Jesus Christ Devine King who protects everyone, Judge who knows everything, Light, present all eternity. All power has been given to Jesus Christ, who judges with mercy, blesses with love, guides with wisdom, invites us to join in the mission of God to bring peace and joy. Jesus shows the true identity of God’s almighty power is shown in the True Act of Love in sacrifice on the Cross and being at humble service of the salvation of whole creation. Ezekiel’s prophecy of God as Messiah King who brings all those lost together bringing healing and peace to all is witnessed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus is Pantocrator Almighty, humble messianic King who establishes God’s kingdom where all are united, equal, free, and peaceful.
Jesus Christ: The Provider
God is the Creator and provider for all our needs. In the parable of the Last Judgment, we heard how we will be judged by our charitable actions of caring for each other and fulfilling the needs of one another. As the disciples of Christ and as the citizens of the Kingdom of God, we are summoned to treat everyone with respect and dignity, to provide for the hungry and thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, to listen and offer friendship to the sick, lonely and to help recover those who are in addiction or in prison.
Jesus invites us with love to be instruments to bring peace and healing to this broken world. The citizens of the Kingdom of God are called to have the attitude of gratitude, peace-loving people who share with one another all God provides to us. We cannot be selfish, Egocentric and ungrateful. In the 3rd century, Pope St. Leo warned his listeners about the sin of accumulating treasures for themselves as he said: “if you have an extra coat in your then you are stealing from someone else.” We have to create community consciousness, so we are aware and provide for each one’s needs so we can listen to welcoming words of our Humble King: Come you that blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Jesus Christ: The Protector
Jesus Christ - Merciful Judge and the Humble King brings pardon and protection to all the faithful. St. Paul proclaims the mission of Jesus Christ who brings pardon to the sinner and protects us from our “last enemy to be destroyed by death.” All of us are forgiven in the love of God, for us we experienced this forgiveness in the healing grace of the sacrament, especially in the reconciliation. We are given final victory over death – the last enemy of life – that is experienced by all the faithful departed through the Resurrection of Christ. Today let us celebrate this great feast in honor True King of the Universe.
Jesus Christ who is The Pantocrator, The Almighty God, who provides, forgives, and protects us so we can enter into paradise. Let me end my reflections with the Prayer of Good Thief who stole the paradise: “Jesus Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
Author: Fr. Wilson Andrade, C.S.C
Photo source: Adobestock.com