2Sam 5:1-3; Col 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43
“He saved others, let Him save Himself if He is the Messiah of God, the chosen One.”
Bishop Jose Manguiran, DD of Dipolog Diocese said in his homily:
“Some are complaining having no eyeglasses, but others have no eyes.
Some are complaining having no handbag, but others don’t have arms.
Some are complaining having no new pair of shoes, but others have no feet.
Some are worried having not to own a new ring, but others have no fingers.
Some are worried that their noses are like flat bars, but others have no nose only holes like the lepers in the leprosarium.”
All that Bishop Manguiran had said is like what the soldiers and people are saying to Jesus when He was hanging on the cross: “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.” They complained and ordered Jesus to do so.
Today is the thirty fourth Sunday in ordinary time of church calendar and the last Sunday. Next Sunday will be the first Sunday of Advent. It happens also that today is the anniversary of the declaration of the Feast of Christ the King as King of all nations. In our gospel we hear that Christ who is the King of all is being nailed on the cross with the two criminals. What a pity! What a scandal on our part. A King, who is supposed to be in His palace, sitting in His throne and surrounded with His advisers and thousands of soldiers is now being humiliated and crucified? Here we see Christ hanging on the cross with no one to turn to. All His followers and friends are leaving Him. They are afraid that they may also be crucified like their Lord and master and that their lives are in danger. They are not committed to Him. The people and soldiers are mocking at Him, insulting Him and laughing at Him because their own idea of what a king is, is not met by Jesus. They are frustrated with Jesus. They are expecting a Messiah who would liberate them from the domination of foreign powers and here comes Jesus being humiliated and degraded.
Jesus instead is doing the opposite of what they expect. He turns up side down their own idea of a Messiah. He shows to them a different kind of king – humble and servant King. And the response of Jesus to the mockery and insults coming from soldiers and people, he is able to say: “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” Wow!
When one of the criminals asks Jesus to remember him when He will reign, Jesus says: “I assure you, this day you will be with Me in Paradise,” without mentioning any of the big sins that his criminal committed. You see, how God forgives?
Christian forgiveness is an amazing thing that no other forgiveness can overpower. Forgiveness could not be bought and even sold but is freely and heartily given by those people who are open and ready to forgive. Yes, it is really very difficult to forgive but the children of God who is forgiving God, we too must follow Him as our Father and model.
Sin is part of the bag and baggage of the historical man. It is not possible, therefore, to imagine that one can meet without meeting sin. A realistic approach to dialogue cannot but take into consideration also the necessity of reconciliation between persons divided by sin. For this reason emphasizes so forcefully the duty of forgiveness to the extent of making it the condition of being able to hope, in turn, for God’s forgiveness. He gives us an example when he hangs upon the cross for us.
To end this, let us listen to Marcus Aurelius, the great Roman emperor used to say to himself every morning when he woke up:
“Today you will meet all kinds of people; they will hurt you and insult you and injure you but you cannot live like that, you know better for you are a man in who the spirit of God dwells.”
Others may have in their hearts the unforgiving spirit, others may sin in ignorance but we know better than them. We are Christ’s men and women and we must forgive as He forgives.
It is not too late to turn to Christ. As long as man’s heart beats, the invitation still stands. While there is still life there is still hope even at the point of death, God still forgives. So why not forgive those who committed sins against us? It’s difficult but let us try. Let us hate the sin but let us love the sinners and this is the message 0f this feast of Christ The King.
See Today’s Readings: Cycle C