Feast of Christ the King
First Reading : (Dan 7:13-14):
God has granted all power to the Son of Man
“Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” (Jn 18:36-37)
Readers of Scripture may ask the following questions: Why did Jesus not expel the Roman ruler who oppressed the people? Or help the Jews achieve liberation and independence? Or not assist God's Chosen People to once more have the dignity and freedom of the children of God?
If Jesus had reasons for not participating in social movements or changing unjust social systems, then what is the reason for the church today to participate in politics and try to change society's unjust situations?
There are different ways of viewing Jesus' attitude and therefore two trends of thought in current theology. Besides traditional theology, another prevailing trend has arisen,'liberation theology.' This encourages active participation in social matters, even to being involved in political movements.
Our church also has two kinds of people: those who place great emphasis on spirituality and those who give priority to social action. Although there are some people who try to maintain a balance between these two streams of thought, there are also those who are biased in one direction or another. This results in misunderstandings which pull them further and further apart. Today, we find that among some of our friends there are those who attend church regularly but rarely become involved in social matters, and some actively engaged in social activities who have given up going to church.
In actuality, what kind of person was Jesus? What attitude did he have
about social problems? How did he view the relationship between religion
and society? He acknowledged that he was a king, but what kind of king
What Jesus faced was the 'problem' of the entire world and all peoples' full development which includes peoples' bodies and souls and their fate for the present and future life.
Jesus was and is king but not only a king of this world; the kingdom he wanted to establish was not a worldly dynasty or a corruptible country, but an eternal kingdom. He was 'in' the world but not 'of' the world. He was determined to be fully human, but not a person bound by social or cultural traditions. He loves people and cares for the fate of the world, but he did this in a way that was thorough and all encompassing.
Jesus revealed Truth to us, the truth of life, of eternity, beyond time and space, truth that is absolutely right for all peoples.
Because of these reasons although he was no revolutionary, for generation after generation his words have inspired many revolutionaries. He did not himself become involved in social reform, but his spirit has moved countless people to have concern for their societies and love the needy. He has inspired people to be filled with lofty ideals and burn with zeal for righteousness. Due to Jesus' call, much good has come about, as the destruction of the system of slavery, the widespread struggle for human rights, democracy and freedom.
His cry of truth has come on the one hand from his arousing and penetrating
words and on the other, from the wisdom he has put in peoples' conscience
and the seeds of goodness he has placed in humanity, seeds which have
already borne fruit and will continue to do so.
Confucius' state of mind was similar to Zheng Ban Qiao's sorrow in
The Spring in the Garden of the Touching Heart. Zheng Ban Qiao was good
at writing, music and chess but he wanted to “Burn the ink slabs and
scorch the books, break the stringed instruments and tear the paintings,
destroy all writings and remove all names.”(2)
He questioned the heavens: “could it be possible that heaven
wants to shut me up with pliers and does not allow me to sigh?”(2)
He felt that he was not even allowed to sigh about the helplessness