Vocation Meditation -
Solemnity of Christ the King, 2009
Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?"
Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nations and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?"
Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here."
Pilate answered, "So you are a king?"
Jesus answered, "You say I am king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
John gives us a unique picture of Jesus before Pilate. Like a painter of Jesus' last earthly moments, John depicted Him with a series of masterstrokes.
Jesus was on trial. Observing His stance and His answers to Pilate, one could not escape noting the sheer majesty of Jesus, the King. Pilate seemed to be in control. When he faced Jesus, it was not Jesus who was on trial. It was Pilate! He was bewildered. He floundered. The truth escaped him.
Jesus spoke with utter directness about His kingdom. It was not of this earth. His army stood ready for Him, their King, not to raise the standard of rebellion or of force. Being a heavenly Kingship, His standard is peace. His conquest is love.
Jesus spoke why he came into the world. He came to witness the truth: the truth about Himself, about God, the truth about life and about the world.
Into Pilate's life, came Jesus: tried, shamed, cloaked in suffering and pain, yet still bearing the majesty of the King. Pilate's encounter with Jesus is everyone's moment of truth: to refuse or accept in our hearts and homes the reign of Christ, our King!
"You say I am a King!"
What are the ways I allow my life to be ruled by my King?
Jesus now rules as King in glory and majesty in heaven. Send me Your Spirit each day to help me listen to His Voice and be guided by it especially when trials assail my vocation. May every 'Yes' to His Word, make me more and more a faithful subject to my King. Amen.
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.