PARAÑAQUE City, Nov. 22, 2015 – A member of the Philippine episcopate reminded the faithful on Saturday, the eve of the Solemnity of Christ the King, to imitate Jesus and to acknowledge His reign always for them to gain eternal life.
“Let us follow Christ, His example. Let us proclaim His reign and work hard to extend His kingdom of justice, peace, love, and forgiveness,” stressed new Antipolo Coadjutor Bishop Francisco M. de Leon in a homily for the Mass he presided over at the Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew in La Huerta, Parañaque, his hometown.
According to him, the celebration of Christ the King should go beyond the customary procession and the veneration of images and pictures of Jesus in royal garb.
Instead, its focus must be on the God Who assumed flesh, becoming “like us except in sin,” and is king of the truth whose boundless love brought about the salvation of mankind.
“Keep this in mind: Those who want Jesus to be His king must be ready to be like Him,” he explained, underscoring the fact that His royalty did not prevent Him from offering His life on the Cross.
Reflecting on this, De Leon pointed out that Christ’s kingship differs from that of earthly monarchs because His originates from heaven, and that His mandate is “not to be served but to serve.”
“Unlike the kings of Europe and even the king of Thailand, Christ was born not in a palace, but in a manger … When He died, He even had to use the tomb lent by Joseph of Arimathea, realizing that He did not have His own,” he said.
De Leon noted further that Christ the King came not to save people from their enemies, rather from themselves, and did so through the Cross.
While artists often depict Christ the King literally as one seated on a throne, crowned, and holding a scepter, the bishop affirmed no representation captures the Lord’s kingship better than of Him hanging lifeless on the Cross.
King of the Cross
According to De Leon, the Crucifixion was the reason why many among His first disciples left, since what they were hoping for was a leader who had the means to free them from their Roman oppressors.
“The Cross is an not obstacle but our stairs to life everlasting. We should not be ashamed to acknowledge that Christ is our king,” the prelate declared.
“The kings of Europe, of Thailand, of other countries will come and go, but Christ will remain king forever,” he added. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)