Sacerdos in Aeternum | Rev. Fr. Rommel Molina Arcilla:

The King in a Manger

It is a very unusual sight to see a King born in a manger. Much strange if the one who was born in a manger was the King of kings and the Son of God! In His wisdom, the Father decided this to happen for reasons known only to Him. All we can do is to surmise and give our own probable reasons why it was so. Anyway, in the later part of the earthly life of Jesus he said; “My Kingdom is not of this world.” At least, with that statement, we know for sure that He was King.


If I were to be a king, I would want to have a royal palace with a vast and powerful army around me and lots of hired hands to do things for me. All I would do is to give commands that everyone under my kingdom must obey without questions. All the luxuries that this world can offer must be within my reach and all the riches must be all under my control. This is because I am human, and this is the natural drive of a king who is an ordinary man. Look at the world around us. All the kings and queens and even those who are just daydreaming to be kings and queens are already submerged into their own selfishness and self-centeredness. Even priests are guilty of things like these that people would really demand for a financial statement all the time. Sad to say that I am not obliged to give you this since I’m bound to report only to the bishop or to an immediate ecclesial superior as stipulated in the Canon Law.  I would not try to do anything to remedy this kind of situation for I know and quite sure that it has become like a cancer, with no known cure.


Out of this world, here comes a King and He opted to be born within a very different concept of a kingdom. His kingdom was not made of bricks and stones and He doesn’t even have an army to protect Him. What he possessed at the moment of His birth was a genuine parents who showered Him with so much love, a few beasts and animals which seemed to be more human because they recognized the Child in the manger, and the Three Magi who travelled far from the East just to pay Him homage and give their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh symbolizing His threefold functions.


The Three Wise Men saw the great Light which guided them to find the Babe in the manger. They saw the Light and I believe that this light was the Light of the World, who was the Christ himself. It was revealed to them in a strange way that the King of kings was to be born and that they need not to pass by the same road on their way home. At the very moment when Christ was born, His enemies were already blood-hungry to kill Him. People who were living in the dark did not welcome the idea that the Light of the World had shown to bring glad-tidings and peace to the whole world! “Gloria in Excelsis Deo! Et in terra pax hominibus!” was the song of the angels when Christ was born. A real good news to all humankind.


After 2,021 years since this good news was announced to the whole world, what has happened to our response? This announcement of the good news and the dawning of the Light of the World was not just an ordinary event but it is an invitation for all of us to seek peace and face the light for the greater glory of God! I really just couldn’t understand why people were so dumb not to see the meaning of all those things that were taking place around them during the first Christmas. I don’t know why we seem not to care at all even if we celebrate Christmas, Epiphany and all other celebrations each year. They are invitations for all of us to behave like true Christians because our supposed response is 2,021 years delayed already!


How do we live or how must we live our Christian life? This is I think one of the most serious questions that we need to ask ourselves before doing anything else. Because, if by now we are still at a loss on how to live like Christians, then, we are no better than the morons, imbeciles and idiots in our streets. And maybe these less fortunate people are even closer to being Christians than some of us with seemingly sound minds but with diabolic personalities and evil intentions. These kinds of people are not only the killers, rapists, drug-dealers, and corrupt government officials. Sometimes they are like a cunning serpent, beautiful to look at, but extremely deadly. Beware of them!


Living our Christian life is very difficult if we are filled up with our own self. I mean, to be a Christian is nothing else to be a follower in the sternest sense of the word. Following is not an easy thing to do because it is a form of surrendering our life to the one whom we wish to follow. And following is losing our life for the one we want to follow and eventually finding it to be one and with Christ our King.


However, if we only have love and a genuine kind of love in us, we will not find it so hard to be followers because the essence of loving is self-giving and self-surrender for the beloved. So, if we do love Christ and wish to follow Him, then, following Him would be as easy as walking and breathing. Following His commandment to love would be more spontaneous and very natural for us because it now becomes a labor of love, no longer as a job or an obligation that we need to fulfill.


Merry Christmas, everyone!

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