Christ King –Mtt25:31-46
Today is Christ the King Sunday. Our Church celebrates Christ the King on the last Sunday of the ordinary time. It means Jesus Christ is God, who is the begging and the end of the world. Today’s readings also reveal three aspects of truth, which are: this world will end. Everyone will be judged, Christ will be the judge on the last day and there is a new Kingdom, the Kingdom of God will come. These aspects of truth invite us to accept that nothing lasts forever in this world. In front of God, everyone is equal and will be judged. God will not ask us? How many things we did, how famous we were? But God will judge us about what we did for love in our life? So how do we live?
It is so interesting to see that if we have a sensitive conscience, we often judge ourselves before the judgment day of God. For example, when we do bad thing, in the deep place of our heart, we often do not feel peace. We will become what we see in our heart. Thus what do we often do and see? Seeing outside is good, but better and necessary is seeing inside, seeing in the dark places of heart and soul. Do we often ask: Who is the poor? Who are naked today? Do we often search these questions outside and inside of us? Each of us has own answer.
A little good thing has power to change a life forever. I would like to share to you a story, which touched my heart. It challenged my view of love. It influenced my religious vocation. It is “a beggar man was invited at party table”.
The context of the event was lunch time. It happened when I was in high school. One day, when my father had two important guests who came to sign their business contract with my father’s company for the coming year. The major issues had been agreed, but some details of their contract still needed to be discussed. Thus, to save time, they used a lunch time to continue their discussion. While they were eating, a beggar came in front of our door.
In the social context of my culture, a meal table is shared among close friends and family members. We sometimes have a party to celebrate after we have signed a long business contract. If the business party only includes members of family and business partners, it means business partners were accepted to be close friends or their friendship is emphasized. In our custom, when a beggar comes to ask for help, we offer them food and money. We do not invite them to share in the same table. However, my father behaved at that time in different way. He asked guests that: “is it OK, if I invite this beggar to share a table with us?” Of course, guests said, “yes”.
My father asked the beggar to sit next to him and me. He introduced us and guests to the beggar and then he said to him: “Take us at your home”. My father made sure of all things as they went very smoothly. He treated the beggar as a close friend. He continued his business conversation with guests; he sometimes stopped to take food for the beggar if the beggar did not help himself. My father also asked him or me some questions, which made us feel that even though he was very busy, but he still cared for us at this time.
There was no one in my family ever mentioned this event again. My parents thought that what happened and what they did were natural and normal. My brothers and sister were too young to deeply understand it. Our guests said my parents were so kinds. They expressed their respect to my parents. They went back to their city. However, that experience stayed with me a long time. My father’s action made me think a lot. I found quiet places to think about it again and again. I prayed to understand it. I searched for the reason and meaning of that action. I questioned myself in silence. I also brought these questions to him: Why did he do it? What force did he have to behave beyond our custom? etc.
His answer made me more confused: “because he is a person among us”. I knew he was a person among us, but he was a stranger. He even was a beggar. He was not our friend or our family member. I heard my father’s answer, but I did not understand his message. In my view at that time, I only invited my family members, my best friends and who I love to share meal table with me. My world only includes them. I could pray for others. I could help them in need. I could bring money and food for a beggar that was enough kind.
My father’s action made me so surprised. I never thought I would do it or someone in that situation could do it. It was also not in our custom. A stranger should never share a meal table, particularly at a business party and business discussion. It was above my understanding. And then, all these things challenged my living faith in daily actions. It opened a view for me to step out and above of our custom to come to others with my loving heart and respect them as they are very important persons.
This event called me to change my view, my discipleship. It challenged me to think about “kind and nice”. It was good but it was not enough. I needed to be truly kinder and nicer from my heart. My father’s action challenged me to be really present when I attend liturgy and pray. My father brought a core of faith, which is “love”, “respect” and “behavior as equality” in his daily actions. These things challenged me and contributed to make me decide that I wanted to be a sister. It is action as a follower of Jesus. I would and will offer my whole life to do something better than giving some actions. Even today, when I think about this event again, I recognize that it was a very meaningful and challenging image, when my father asked a beggar sat between him and I. It helps me to understand God’s commandment of loving and requirement of Jesus, “what you did for one of these ones, you did for me” (Mtt 25:40). Thus, I choose to prayerfully reflect and share this particular event to you.
I invite you to share to me in prayer: Jesus Christ, you are the King of love, please transform me and others to live for love in our daily life.