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.
These words from the end of today’s Gospel are part of the narrative between Pilate and Jesus, during the ‘trial’ which led to Jesus being sentenced to death. To onlookers Pilate, the ruler of the territory seemingly with the power of life and death; and Jesus a local Rabbi, who had many followers, but had upset the High Priest and other Synagogue officials so much; that their jealousy and spitefulness led them to turn over a fellow Jew to the Roman occupiers in the hope that they would execute him.
Jesus being judged by Pilate. Jesus being sentenced to death. Jesus conquering death by rising from the dead. Jesus now sitting at God’s right hand to judge the living and the dead.
Like many other situations in His life, Jesus turned the normal upside down. Pilate seemingly had the power, totally unaware that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end; the one like a Son of Man (from the first reading), who is, who was and is to come, Jesus the Almighty. Jesus had the real power, the power of truth.
As we may remember from the Passion of Our Lord, Pilate goes on to ask ‘Truth, what is that?’ If Pilate was unaware of what truth is, he would be unable to listen to the voice of Jesus. If Pilate was unaware of what truth is, he was a most unworthy judge; remembering that in courts we ask witnesses to speak the truth and it is an offence not to speak the truth in a court of law.
Being the Alpha and the Omega, Jesus chooses when and how to let His Majesty show. In the Passion, Jesus had to be the Sacrificial Lamb; unblemished, taking the place of those who have sinned. Jesus could not let His Majesty show at this stage. Jesus had to wait, in obedience, until the Resurrection to let His Majesty show. Jesus sets the example for us. Jesus obeys the Father, we in turn listen to the voice of Jesus (The Word of God) and obey what Jesus tells us.
I was reminded at last week’s session of Metanoia, that not everything we hear about Jesus is comfortable to hear. We were reminded that many followers walked away when they heard about eating His Body and drinking His Blood. We were reminded that Peter took Jesus aside when He mentioned that He had to die. With Jesus rebutting Peter, with “Get behind me Satan” (Mt 16:22-23). But we were also reminded of the words of Our Lady, at the Wedding in Cana, when she told the servants to “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5). That message is also for us, those words spoken two thousand years ago still ring true today. We are expected to obey, because the one who we listen to is the Truth; and the truth will set us free (Jn 31-33).
This month of November we remember our dead friends and relatives in prayer. This annual remembrance comes at the end of the Church Year and with this feast normally shortened to Christ the King, which if we say it fast is normalised and doesn’t have the same impact of the full name of today’s feast – Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. We pray for our dead with the hope that one day they and we, will enter His Kingdom and live with Him forever. Our God is our Creator, everything we see, touch, smell, taste and hear comes from Him.
Jesus conquered death. He was born for this, He came into the world for this, to bear witness to the truth and all who are on the side of truth listen to His voice.
Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)1
CCC 440, 446-451, 668-672, 783, 786, 908, 2105, 2628: Christ as Lord and King
CCC 678-679, 1001, 1038-1041: Christ as Judge
CCC 2816-2821: “Thy Kingdom Come”
Please keep in your prayers
- Those who are sick, those recovering from surgery, those who are dying, the recently deceased and those who mourn.
- The Year of the Eucharist, that this will lead to a fresh outpouring of love by the people of God for the Body and Blood of Christ.
- The listening stage of the 16th Synod of Bishops which is entitled “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” that all Catholics will take part.
- The families completing the latest Baptism Preparation Course this Sunday at St Bede’s Church.