Gospel Reflections

Feast of Christ the King

John 18:33-37

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Victorine Mansanga

Published: November 22, 2015

Read John 18:33-37

Pilate said to Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?" Pilate answered,... Read More…


“So, you are a King then?”
The liturgy of the Feast of Christ the King sheds light on the royalty of Christ for us. Contrary to the idea which we have about the greatness, power and wealth of an earthly ruler, the Gospel paints a picture of a king who is poor, beaten, humiliated, dressed in purple and crowned with thorns. He is a king nailed to the cross with no justification.

The Gospel shows us that we are in the presence of a king who offers himself as a sacrifice. Unfortunately, he is a king who holds no earthly power. Consequently, he has become the object of mockery and insults. It is from the heights of the cross where his royalty is revealed and manifests his glory. His mission here below is to be of service and to give witness to the truth.

The kingdom described above is different from that of earthly kings whose court boasts a powerful army to defend the realm. On the contrary, the Kingdom of Christ is unique in its nature and is unlike any earthly kingdom. Those who are invited to enter there have special characteristics as described in the Beatitudes: they are poor, gentle, humble and merciful. Their passport is love. This is the kingdom of the children of God.

We are all invited to enter into this Kingdom by becoming children of God through Baptism and sustaining this divine life through the sacraments. Since we are children of the same kingdom, we must love one another as brothers and sisters. Jesus invites us to love, pardon and to have compassion.

“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Pilate asks Jesus questions about his power, his royalty and his reign in order to find reason to condemn him. It is astonishing to see that for the first time, Jesus publicly acknowledges that he is the King of the Jews. Yet, he acknowledges without hesitation that his reign is not of this world.

We may ask why Jesus acknowledges before the tribunal that he is a king while he always hid from being considered such during his public life. Could we say that the moment had come for Jesus to make himself known to the world? It is clear that Jesus accepts his royalty in a humiliating situation more than when he was crowned with glory as at the multiplication of bread.

We recognize the royalty of God since we invoke the coming of the Reign of God in the Our Father by saying, “Your kingdom come“. In asking this of God in the Our Father, we recognize the heavenly kingdom.

On this Feast of Christ the King, let us take some moments to reflect and picture Jesus on the cross by which he saved us. Let us ask the King of the universe to reign in our hearts, our lives, our homes and our communities.

Let us pray that Christ will welcome us into his Kingdom. Let us be witnesses to the Reign of God in our communities, our lives and our homes! At the end of this liturgical year, let us fix our sights on Christ, the King of the universe, as we await his coming in glory.

 

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