RULING, LEADING, SHEPHERDING
Solemnity of Christ the King
November 23, 2014
RULING, LEADING, SHEPHERDING
We have rulers who govern and reign over us. We need them for we belong to a civilized society. Whether we like it or not, politics of the worst kind and Politics of the good kind color and impinge upon our everyday daily affairs, even if most of what we do have nothing to do with political, partisan affairs.
To be honest with you, I have had enough of the type of dysfunctional politics of the worst kind in my own beloved country. For decades, we have had to choose between evil people and less evil people; between the media-created popular characters and those whose passport to power is very simply put, money – that begets more money and more fame and even more fortune – for generation upon generation.
Today, the whole Church speaks about a ruler, a leader and a shepherd, too. He was not born into wealth and all that wealth could buy. He had no pedigree that remotely approximates power associated with the dirty politics of the worst kind that my country is notorious for. He was born of a working-class family – skilled, no doubt – but nevertheless a lowly trade that was carpentry.
But his leadership came not as an accident of history. No … it was actually prophesied centuries in advance: “I myself will look after and tend my sheep.” From the words of Ezekiel, we learn how God, in His infinite wisdom, would work gradually towards the fulfillment of a vision proclaimed through the prophet Ezekiel.
But caring shepherd that he was meant to be, the ruler was not “programmed” to be a wimp. He was also raised to be a judge: “I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.” Again, leader that he was called to be, his lordship was not one characterized by brute strength and power, but by the mysterious power of self-donation – the ultimate point of which was his self-immolation – his death on the cross. By so doing, he showed who really had the goods that mattered more than anything else: “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead came also through a man … The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
Today’s solemnity, for all the frustrations and hopelessness that I see in a country so torn and battered by the nation’s biggest criminal syndicate that is government, gives me unsurpassed hope for the undefined and uncertain future, from a purely human point of view. From the earthly viewpoint, the future is uncertain, and definitely, dark. And only those deep in denial will continue to hold on to the romantic dream that somehow, things will get better while the big-time honorable crooks continue laughing their way to the banks!
But wait! There is something more to our lives as believers than just the reality of the culture of sin of which we all are part, “for we all have fallen short of the glory of God.”
And this is what we continue to hold on and pin our best and brightest hopes in! … Not in an ideology … not on another wistful and romantic dream … neither on a political strategy no matter how bright and cogent and convincing.
Today, I choose to pin my hopes on a ruler, leader, and shepherd who, according to God’s plan and will, will be the ultimate victor … Christ! Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat! “Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, after he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power.”
The grass withers, the flower fades, so says the Holy Book, but the will of the Lord remains forever. Rulers come; despots go. Honorable criminals may abound now, but only the Lord shall reign forever and ever. And talking about earthly rulers, there is definitely a time for reckoning … when sheep shall be separated from goats. God’s justice shall definitely prevail in God’s own good time, that is, when He comes again, at the end of the ages!
Are you still worried sick that things seem so utterly hopeless? Chin up, my friends! “The Lord is my shepherd (and ruler and leader); there is nothing I shall want!”