Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pre-Christmas Post

Taken on the 21st of November, 2009
Manila Cathedral

The Parable of the Fourth King
By Sen. Juan Flavier

THE whole world knows of the three kings - the wise men who traveled far to pay homage to the Baby born in a stable, and to offer Him their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh. They followed the star of Bethlehem in their quest for Baby Jesus.

A little known fact was the fourth king. He, too, a was wise who journeyed from the east guided by the same star, and he brought his own gift securely fastened to his faithful camel.

But the fourth king did not succeed in his quest. Or so he thought at first. For along the way, he kept making stops. Every time he saw a man in need, he would alight and provide succor.

He overtook a farmer carrying a heavy load. He stopped and offered his camel as he himself alighted and walked.

Near a gully, he found a farmer wounded from the attack of a wild animal. The fourth king tarried for days taking care of the farmer’s needs. He refused to continue his journey until the man was brought home to his village.

A group of bandits was pillaging the produce of another farmer. The fourth king again stopped to defend the helpless man. In the end, the bandits took away his camel and his gift.

So, he continued his travel on foot, still stopping and tarrying at every town where need beckoned him.

Many years passed before the fourth king reached Bethlehem. He was told that the Messiah had proceeded to Jerusalem on a donkey. He rushed over and found a throng of people. They were talking about a Jew who had carried a cross to Calvary.

The fourth king ran and from a distance, saw the silhouette of two crosses. A third one was just being erected. At the foot of the Christ nailed on the cross, the fourth king knelt and wept. "I am despicable for tarrying on my journey. I lost my gift and failed in my quest," he sobbed bitterly.

The Man on the cross spoke in a whisper in a most kindly voice, "Stand. I received your gift long ago and yours is the greatest of them. You found me!"

(December 31, 2003 issue)
-Sun Star

I came across this article when I had my practice teaching last year. It's been a year since I taught in a public school and heaven knows when I would come back. Anyway, it was also around this time of the year when my cooperating teacher asked me to look for a copy of this story and make a lesson plan for it. I got it and before I made my lesson plan, I read it. tried to find the theme, the elements whatnot, only to find myself struck by the essence of the story. Sometimes, one can just look at the surface and see that what is necessary has been there all along.

As Flavier may have put it, this is a story unbeknownst to whoever made the bible. They may not have known it for his goodness was unsung and modest.

In our lives we may stop along the way in our attempt to do something for other people. At times, we hesitate because we think we are supposed to do something more worth our while. We still do it anyway, for at some point, we think that's the least we could do. These little things, much to our ignorance, are like blessings to other people. We look at it differently because it's us who do the actions and they are just receivers of what we do.

I have learned, that we do not have to look up to adore who we believe in. We only have to look around.

Sometimes we fail to see the good in ourselves because we refer to goodness as the things that are publicly well-regarded. We have the notion that when we go to church, we become closer to God. We think donations and other religious activities elate God. We are looking far, much too far from the reality that it's the simple things that we do that matters most to whoever we believe in.

This fourth king could be me; it could be anybody else--and they wouldn't have noticed.
I'm glad somebody did.

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