Jesus Christ is King. But his kingship, the one he wants to share with us, is not just like any other. For it does not come from this world.
Those who make up the Sanhedrin bring Jesus before Pilate. One of the charges they bring against Jesus is that he keeps saying he is the Messiah, Christ, the King (Lk 23, 2). And the crowd that that they stir up sides with them. It seems, then, that all of them question his messianic kingship.
Pilate, however, does not take seriously the accusation against Jesus. He repeatedly says that he finds no guilt in him. He asks him, yes, “Are you the king of the Jews?” But he does not really care for the truth. After all, he will betray it by handing Jesus over to the chief priests so that they may crucify him.
The truth, then, that Jesus is not guilty does not matter to Pilate. What matter to him are his interests and advancements. It frightens him to think that he could lose power. Indeed, just like the chief priests, he has no king but Caesar. Pilate serves Power and the Wealth it hoards through lies, violence, oppression and exploitation of even the most helpless.
So then, no one among those who have a part in Jesus’ trial believes in his kingship. But do we, who call ourselves Christians, really believe in Christ the King?
The kingdom, the kingship, of Jesus is not of this world.
Are we sure that we do not conform to this world? Kings and rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them. And their great ones see to it that people know who exactly have power and wealth. Is this really not so among us? Have we not perhaps made our own the ways of the Roman Empire?
Jesus wants us to understand and accept the truth that to share in his kingship is not to be served. Rather, it is to serve and to lay down our life for others. The greatness of Christian kingship lies in humble service; being first as Christ the King is being the slave of all.
And this world experiences here and now Christ’s kingship as we help the poor. As we give commit ourselves to them, our “masters” and “kings” (SV.EN X:489), loving them, as Jesus loves us. To the end and with an infinitely inventive love that assures us of his real presence among us (SV.EN XI:131), the presence of his indestructible kingship. Doing so, we also, like the faithful Witness, like Mary, too, and St. Catherine Labouré, witness before the world to the truth.
Lord Jesus, through baptism we share in your kingship. Grant that we may live up to whatever is noble, true, just, good and lovely.
25 November 2018
34th Sunday in O.T. (B) – Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Dan 7, 13-14; Rev 1, 5-8; Jn 18, 33b-37