Monday, November 26, 2012

Bring the Holy in the King to all!

After seven years of celebrating the Solemnity of Christ the King in my parish in Navotas, this year Divine Providence led me somewhere far for me to experience first-hand the wonder of his Kingship which is beyond time and space. 

After the early Mukha AD session at Santo Domingo, I traveled a few kilometers south to the City of Pasay, to the Parish of Santa Clara de Montefalco, to celebrate yesterday's Solemnity. I was accompanied by Carlo (who was also inviting me to various events in and out of the metro since way back) since this was his home parish. I felt such excitement that I hesitated to come at first, fearing that everything would turn otherwise. 

But I was absolutely wrong. As the events unfolded, God manifested ever again his greatness over the people he loves.

Upon arriving at the Parish, I was mesmerized by its little yet classic look. This parish community was erected in 1863, in honor of Saint Clare of Montefalco, OSA, who was known for the images of Christ's passion embedded in her heart. Like Saint Clare, this little parish community strives to have Christ embedded deeply in their hearts through active participation in the Liturgy and other parochial activities.

This I saw first-hand during the procession in honor of Christ the King, in which the Blessed Sacrament was solemnly taken in procession. One can see the fervent devotion of the parishioners in the recitation of the prayers and singing of chants. Everyone, from the oldest Apostolada to the youngest of the acolytes walked in reverence for the Eucharistic King.  

However, this was not the case for the on-lookers. Wearing basketball jerseys with caps on, others without any shirt at all, they just looked at the procession as if there was a parade of a basketball league. They would see familiar faces walking in the procession, and yet that's all they were looking on for.  Sad as it may seem, this royal and sacred procession means nothing to most of them. 


Do you notice something wrong in this picture?
This view is not new to me, being an acolyte for a good few years. People wearing mini-skirts and sandos for Mass, doing simbang-tabi instead of participating in the Liturgy, looking at the priest as he delivers his same old homily. This is the dark reality of our society nowadays: most of us are already losing the sense of sacredness in the Blessed Eucharist.

This even extends to the existence of the Church itself, and God himself. We are still blessed to have and possess this deep reverence for God in everything we do. A lot of us still pray and do penance for our sins, but gradually this turns into a show-off rather than a real appreciation of God's presence in our lives. In Filipino, we usually say, Sa loob ng simbahan, kilos-anghel; sa labas, astang-demonyo. We forget the call to be Christ's disciples once we step out of the House of God. So sad isn't it?

Of this, Pope Pius XII of blessed memory have once said, “The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin”. We usually think that it's OK with God even if we sin a number of times without confessing them to Him through the priest. On the other hand, we think it's alright if we just keep on doing the same old sins because there's always chance for confession.

In short, the world does not know Christ anymore. He reigns as King of the Universe, yet his people doesn't know him anymore - or a significant number perhaps. We think that everything we do is alright with Him, including our numerous sins and negligence. Without knowing how grave the consequences would be, we just continue to live a disgraceful life.

This led me to a deep realization: WE MUST BRING BACK THE HOLINESS TO OUR PEOPLE! As subjects of Christ the King, it is our prime duty and responsibility (A royal term) to lead other people to him. It is our prior job to bring the good news to all, especially for us who are illumined by God's grace in the faith. We know what we are doing, and so we must be the first to bring Christ to others and bring others to Christ!

But before we could do all these, we should first examine ourselves if we could be agents of change for these people who need to know Christ badly. We cannot change the world unless we start with ourselves. More than anyone else, we are the epitome of Christ's love for all. If we do not love ourselves nor change our lives for Christ, then we cannot do anything to bring our neighbor to Jesus.


Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
[Isaiah 41,10]

As our King, Jesus always stays there, guiding us along the way of life. This became true when we adored the Blessed Sacrament after the procession. After reciting Vespers, I just looked at the Lord and presented my weak and frail self to him. In front of his sacred majesty, I am nothing but his subject. In everything I'm experiencing right now, it's so consoling to see that his grace is ever-flowing from the Sacrament of the Eucharist which he himself instituted. He lights up my life, and provides the guidance I need to fulfill the challenges of life.

Despite all that I have and everything I had undergone, I always shout to the top of my lungs... JESUS CHRIST, SON OF GOD, HAVE MERCY ON ME, A SINNER!
On that point, I saw the need to bring Christ all the more to myself, in prayer and humility. By this, I could bring Christ to others. He himself gives me the chance to know him more. As King, he shows himself in all grace and providence. He remains in me in the Eucharist, and strengthens me continuously through encounters with his Word. He guides me on the way to go so that I could change myself into his image - into his face.

With all these, and with faith and confidence to His Divine Will, I know that I could bring the Holy in the King to all.

The Monstrance in the Adoration Chapel of the Parish is illumined at the back by a spotlight. This mysterious picture of the illumined Sacred Body of the Lord was taken personally by yours truly. No editing was applied to this.

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