Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 20 November 2022
The Solemnity of Christ, the King
2Sam. 5:1-3; Mzm. 122:1-2,4-5; Col. 1:12-20; Luk. 23:35-43
Crucifixion is not an ordinary punishment. It is a form of extraordinary punishment, specially made for the enemies of Rome, the high-class rebels. Normally, the process of crucifixion is arranged like a sort of display: the accused is paraded on the street, then crucified at the border of the town in order to be seen by many people. The message of the Roman rulers is clear: every rebel will get the same fate. Therefore, do not attempt any crime! The cross is a show of humiliation, a display of suffering, and the most extreme humiliation. However, in the Christian faith, the crucifixion is amazingly believed as the moment the Accused becomes a King, the Humiliated becomes The Highest! He is the magnificent King and Ruler!
First, Jesus is the King who prays for the forgiveness of His enemies. During His life, Jesus always prayed and preached as well as offered forgiveness to the sinners (Luk. 6:37). That was what He did at the end of His life. For the Lord, humans’ sin is mostly caused by ignorance, not by an intentional mind (cf. Acts 3:17). Therefore Jesus never stops asking for Father’s forgiveness for man-kinds. In the midst of a world full of revenge and logic of revenge, Christ The King teaches us to love and forgive endlessly. Forgive the enemies, and pray for the opponents!
Second, Jesus is the King who not only teaches but also implements His teachings. In His suffering and humiliation from injustice, He did what He ever taught: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28). He is the King teaching the truth: living in harmony between words and deeds.
Third, Jesus is the King who saves humans through His cross and death. Three mocks directed to Him: from the leaders, the soldiers, and one of the criminals, are related to the verb “save” (v. 35, 37, 39). For them, a King must save their people with force. A King must be victorious and defeat the opponents. Yet, Jesus becomes a King by another way around. His power and greatness as a King is not necessarily to be shown by coming down from the cross. He becomes King by staying on the cross, a means of punishment, torture, and humiliation. However, He suffers them all as an innocent man. He was sentenced to death after 3 times statements of not being found guilty (Luke 23:4, 14, 22). He would like to share the same fate with anyone tortured, oppressed, and humiliated unjustly.
Fourth, Jesus is the King who offers salvation “today”. He promised salvation to the repented criminals, today, right on the day of his death (v. 43). The Lord does not promise salvation later, but now, when you and I confess, receive His forgiveness and acknowledge the truth from Him, the King and the Saviour (v. 41). It is at that time, despite all the threats, sufferings and injustice, we will receive His salvation. When we admit and let Him reign over our lives, in every joy and sorrow of our daily life, that is the time where Paradise is no more distant, but reachable, not in the future but right here and now!
(Hortensius Mandaru – Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:
For the purpose of Universal Churches: The suffering children
We pray for the suffering children, especially the homeless, orphans, and victims of war; may they be assured to have education and the opportunity to experience the warmth of a family.
For the purpose of Indonesian Churches: Remembering those who died from Covid-19
We pray for those who died from Covid-19, may God bestow His mercy upon them, and their soul rests in eternal peace.