Missionary Weekly Reflection
Thirty Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time, 24 November 2019
CELEBRATION OF JESUS CHRIST THE KING OF THE UNIVERSE
2Sam. 5:1-3; Ps. 122:1-2,4-5; Col. 1:12- 20; Luk. 23:35-43
Crucifixion was not an ordinary punishment. It was an extraordinary form of punishment, which was specially reserved for the enemies of the Roman, the high-class rebels. The crucifixion was deliberately made into a display: the defendant was paraded on the street, then crucified near the city in order to be witnessed by the people. The message of the Roman authority was clear: every rebellion would suffer the same consequence. Hence, don’t you dare to! The cross was the most extreme display of humiliation and suffering. Amazingly, for the Christian Faith, percisely that is the moment when The Defendant becomes the King, the Humiliated becomes the Highest Majesty! He is the Glorious King and Ruler!
First, He is the King who prays for the forgiveness for His enemies. In His life Jesus always prayed and preached and offered the forgiveness from The Father to the sinful humans (Luk. 6:37). He did the same thing at the end of His life. God knows that humans commit sins not out of free will, but because of ignorance (Acts. 3:17). Therefore, Jesus never stops praying for the forgiveness from The Father to humans. In this world full of revenge and logic of revenge, The King teaches us love, kindness and unlimited forgiveness. Enemies are forgiven, opponents are prayed!
Second, He is The King who not only teaches, but also does His teachings. In suffering and humiliation from injustice, He performs what He has taught: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who mistreat you” (Luk. 6:27-28). He is The King who teaches authenticity and integrity: harmonious life between words and acts. His teaching is not just weasel words.
Third, He is The King who saves humans through His cross and death. Three mockeries made to Him: from the leaders, soldiers and one of the criminals, all related to the verb “to save” (v. 35, 37, 39). They thought of a king, who had to save his people with power. For them, a king had to be glorious and defeat the enemies. Jesus becomes a King by the opposite way. His power and greatness are not necessarily showed off by coming down from the cross. He becomes King by staying crucified on the cross: the means of punishment, torture and humiliation. Nevertheless, He suffered as a righteous person. He was eventually sentenced to death after being three times declared as innocent (Luk 23:4, 14, 22). He wants to be on the same boat with anyone who is tortured, oppressed and unjustly humiliated.
Fourth, He is The King who gives “today’s” salvation. He promised a salvation to the criminal who instantly repented on that day, right after his death (v. 43). The Lord does not promise later salvation, but now, when you and I want to admit our mistake, accept His forgiveness and acknowledge the truth from Him, the Saviour King (v. 41). On that day, despite all threat, suffering and injustice, we will receive His salvation. On the moment when we admit and allow Him to rule, in joy and sorrow of our daily life, Paradise is no longer far away, but indeed reachable, not later but now!
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Dialogue and Reconciliation in Middle East: May the spirit for a dialogue, cooperation and reconciliation grow in Middle East where different religious communities can share life in their togetherness. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Prayer for the elderly: May the elderly be able to interpret their lives and become role model for they are willing to pray and keep learning to pray for the needs of church and society. We pray…
May the people in our Diocese more live Christ as their King and follow His wise act in proclaiming Good News and realizing the Kingdom of God. We pray …