Sunday, November 22, 2009

Two Kings

Everyone of us is familiar with the story of King Midas. Yap, that mythical king with a touch of gold. Even the beautiful flowers in his garden turned gold. The king grew hungry and thin, for each time he tried to eat, he found that his meal had turned to gold. His lovely daughter,- at his loving touch, turned hard and fast to gold. His water, his bed, his clothes, his friends, and eventually the whole palace was gold.

King Midas saw that soon his whole kingdom would turn to gold unless he did something right away. He asked Dionysus to turn everything back to the way it had been and take back his golden touch. Because the king was ashamed and very sad, Dionysus took pity on him and granted his request. Instantly, King Midas was poorer that he had been, but richer, he felt, in the things that really count.

The local political leaders who support,- directly or indirectly, the Pitkin Petroleum Ltd and the Intex Resources, the two mining companies operating in the island of Mindoro only think of the economic side of the coin. Just like King Midas before his wish was granted by Dionysius.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on January 29, 2006 issued a document called “A Statement on Mining and other Concerns” and with these words CBCP reiterated their stand on mining in the whole country : ”We reaffirm our stand for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995. We believe that the Mining Act destroys life. The right to life of people is inseparable from their right to sources of food and livelihood. Allowing the interests of big mining corporations to prevail over people's right to these sources amounts to violating their right to life. Furthermore, mining threatens people's health and environmental safety through the wanton dumping of waste and tailings in rivers and seas.”

Today is the Solemnity of Christ the King and it's the end of the liturgical year for us Catholics. Next week we begin a new year with the first Sunday of Advent. And this is the perfect time to reflect on who really is the King of our life. Lumen Gentium describes Christ’s Kingship in these few words, “to reign is to serve.” To translate this in political term, “authority is service.” This is what we, citizens and taxpayers, want to ask our aspiring candidates in the forthcoming local elections.

Let us reflect on these points today : “Who is the King we choose to follow?” “Who are the people of this kingdom who cry out to be remembered by us?” “Who among our political kings (and queens) consider Jesus in their every public and private action?” God’s Kingship is not about self-serving, ruthless power, but about a God who is infinite love. Accepting Christ as King means that we strive to live like the Good Shepherd.

Jesus’ Kingdom is not about ruthless power (i.e. public display of rudeness and arrogance, etc.), or royal attendants (i.e. the “majestic” paid propagandist and “barkers”), or all those things we think of when thinking of kings (like palaces, horses (read: luxuriuos vehicles), knights (read: bodyguards), etc.). Matthew Gospel sums it up best,- I think, when it says: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, to give his life as a ransom for the many” (Mt. 20:28).

Pope Benedict XVI has remarked that Christ's Kingship is not based on "human power" but on loving and serving others. May today’s Feast of Christ the King change and influence the way we think, we work,- the way we spend our free time, the way we pray, and the way we vote come May 2010.

Viva Cristo Rei!!…

(Photo :The statue of Cristo-Rei (Christ the King), overlooking the city of Lisbon, portrays the Sacred Heart inviting all of humanity to come and follow Him. Taken by Teresa T. from

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