WITH the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King which marks the end of the liturgical year, we are reminded of our duty to start building God’s kingdom here on earth. Yes, the definitive state of God’s kingdom will be in heaven, but we have to start building it here.
His kingdom is actually already with us. That’s why at onetime, Christ said: “The kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (Lk 17, 21) At the same time, it is still to be perfected in some other time, place or, better said, state of life. Thus, he also said: “My kingship is not of this world.” (Jn 18, 36)
The celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King reminds us that Christ will again come a second time to reclaim and present us as God’s children and people. We should develop a strong sense of expectation for Christ’s second coming, adopting St. Paul’s words, “Maranatha, Lord, come!” (1 Cor 16, 22)
Or we can repeat some pertinent words of a psalm, “Vultum tuum, Domine, requiram.” That’s Latin for “I long to see your face, Lord,” (27, 8) that express the strongest desire we should have in our life.
And this duty of building God’s kingdom starts with each one of us, making Christ our king, allowing him to reign in our mind and heart, and in every part of our body and in every aspect of our life. We need to submit ourselves completely to him who is the pattern of our humanity, the redeemer of our damaged humanity, the way, the truth and the life for us.
We can do this, first of all, by making little conquests in our spiritual life everyday. We need to understand that our life will always involve some struggle. In fact, it is and should be a daily affair. Failing in that struggle does not only mean getting stuck at a certain point. It certainly means we have retrogressed. In this business of struggle, if we don’t advance, we regress.
We should therefore be reminded of our duty to hone up our skills in spiritual warfare. Christ already hinted this much when he said: “from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent bear it away.” (Mt 11, 12)
We have to understand though that to be violent in this sense does not mean to be destructive but rather to be constructive, driven by love and the desire to be united with God and with the others in a way proper to us as children of God and brothers and sisters among ourselves.
We also have to learn to relate everything in our life to God through Christ in the Holy Spirit, no matter how mundane and temporal they are. The things of this world are actually the materials we need to use to relate ourselves to God and to show our belief and love for him.
And from each one of us, let us make God’s kingdom radiate into our families, communities and societies, our nation and ultimately the whole world. Thus, we have to sharpen our apostolic zeal.
It corresponds to Christ’s clear command, given first to the apostles but also meant for all of us, to go out into the whole world, preaching the gospel and baptizing them “in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Thus, we need to reach out to everyone. We have to develop our social skills and make as many friends as possible, so that the work of apostolate and evangelization can be facilitated. We have to base this apostolic work on solid prayer and sacrifice.
Of course, we have to study the doctrine of our faith well, so that the task of evangelization can be carried out effectively.
Fr. Roy Cimagala is the Chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise, Talamban, Cebu City ([email protected])/PN