NOVEMBER 21 - CHRIST THE KING. Jn 18 33-37
John 18:33-37 NOVEMBER 21 CHRIST THE KING
‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ Pilate asked. Jesus replied, ‘Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?’ Jesus replied, ‘Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.’ ‘So you are a king then?’ said Pilate. ‘It is you who say it’ answered Jesus. ‘Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.’
Today is the last Sunday of the liturgical year which the Church uses to focus our minds and hearts on the Kingship of Christ; - a very important truth in that it means we are proclaiming our belief Christ is our leader and teacher.
Christ the King however is a very different type of King to what the world understands. He is not a King who claims great power or authority and we only have to look at his birth and death to see the stark differences between earthly kings and the King of heaven and earth.
Born in a stable, to an unknown virgin, and who lived in complete obscurity for ninety per cent of his earthly life; - choosing to live in the almost unknown town of Nazareth where he submitted to the directions of his earthly, and unknown parents, Mary and Joseph.
In considering these unusual features of Christ’s Kingship we also have to remind ourselves that, as our King, he is also our leader and teacher; - meaning that he is the one who we look to in order to determine how we should live our life on this earth.
And what stands out from the most casual examination of Christ’s life is that he wants his followers to live a very different type of life to how earthly kings and their subjects live, with the world proclaiming we should focus on being “successful” – “powerful” – and “wealthy”.
In contrast Christ our King chose to be “unknown” – “humble” – and “poor”, as he had only one desire or goal in his life, and that was to do the will of his heavenly Father; - and he taught his followers this should also be their only goal for the short time that they were on this earth.
Another teachings he left his followers, which he also bore witness to in his own life, was the need to make reparation for sin; - both for our own and the sins others; - and he did this by renouncing his own will, and embracing the will of God, who he taught us to call “Our Father”.
Making reparation for sin was the primary purpose Christ our King, dwelt among us, and the means by which he did this was to sacrifice his own will and desires; - in order to do the Will of his Father; - and he bore witness to this need by sacrificing his life on a cross.
And it was in sacrificing his own life on the Cross that our King bore witness to both his Love of God and his Love of souls; - and again he wants his followers, or disciples, to do the same; - to renounce our own will and desires in order to make reparation for sin and, to bear witness to our Love of God and Neighbour.
It is hard to fathom why Christ our King would become a man like us, and sacrifice his life on a Cross for our sins, motivated solely by Love; - and invite us to do the same; - but our King has very different values to the Kings of this world; - and he wants us to adopt them ourselves!
Gospel Acclamation Mark 11:9. 10
Blessed is he who inherits the kingdom of David our Father;
blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Second reading Apocalypse 1:5-8
Jesus Christ has made us a line of kings and priests
Grace and peace to you from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the First-Born from the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth. He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood, and made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God and Father; to him, then, be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. It is he who is coming on the clouds; everyone will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the races of the earth will mourn over him. This is the truth. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’ says the Lord God, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.