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Building Christ’s Kingdom

Today is the feast of Christ the King. When Jesus was crucified, a crude, wooden sign (caratola) was nailed over his head with the inscription INRI, which in Latin means “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum.” In English, “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.”

By the way, among the people of Ilocos Norte like me, INRI means “Ilocos Norte Region I.”

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Levity aside, is Christ really a king? When Jesus stood before Pilate, he did not deny that he was indeed a king.

But then he said, “My kingdom does not belong to this world” (Jn 18,36). Jesus’ reply means he was not the kind of king Pilate imagined: a military or political ruler whose followers would fight to liberate him.

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When Joseph Stalin, supreme head of the Central Communist Party of Russia, heard about the pope’s estate and Swiss guards, he asked sarcastically: “How many divisions (of soldiers) does the pope have?”

Learning of Stalin’s sarcastic remark, the pope was quoted to have said, “Tell my son Joseph that he’ll find out in the next life.”

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In his book titled, His Word Resounds, Albert Cylwicki says: “Christ’s kingdom does not depend on military might, economic strength or political power. It is a spiritual kingdom that depends on faith, prayer and good works.”

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God’s kingdom is not perfect as evident from so much injustices, greed, killings and kidnappings we see around us.

Rather than get discouraged, we are called to be promoters and cooperators with God in bringing about the kingdom already here on earth.

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I remember an elementary school teacher, Beatriz Evangelista, fondly called “Tita Betty,” who was not contented with just classroom work.

She volunteered her services to teach values education mostly to women in the provinces and the inmates of Quezon City Jail. When Tita Betty retired, she increased her voluntary commitment until she died of cancer on May 24, 2012.

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Tita Betty exemplified an authentic Christian life who worked in building Christ’s kingdom in her own little way.

Months prior to her death, she was conferred with the SVD Mission Awards for doing mission with the poor and the marginalized.

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Do we acknowledge Christ as king? If we do, then let’s promote his causes to protect human rights, alleviate poverty, fight against oppression, and reach out to the lukewarm and un-churched members of his kingdom.

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LAUGH WITH GOD. Before reaching Christ the King Church on E. Rodriguez Avenue, QC, you pass by other KINGS–Burger King, Tapa King, Allied BanKing, Chowking; finally, the greatest of them all: Christ the King.

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A man confided to his friend, “I went to see my doctor about my heart ailment. He told me to change my lifestyle. No smoking, no drinking, no meat.”

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“So what happened, did you change your lifestyle?” the friend said. “No, I changed my doctor,” he replied. (Isn’t that our attitude too? We change God if we don’t like his prescription for us).

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BIRTHDAY. Yesterday was my birthday, I ask my readers to pray for me, for good health, and help for financial support of my apostolates, especially our Adopt for Seminarians scholarship. For inquiries, e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com.(Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD)

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