Nov 20, 2018
From the Desk of Fr Stephen
As I read today’s gospel for my preaching this weekend, and also writing in this bulletin article, I was struck by the fact that we read this gospel every Good Friday as part of the reading of the Passion. As I was reading from the Gospel of John, I was thinking more about Holy Week than the Feast of Christ the King which is the last Sunday of the liturgical year. It is interesting that in the gospels Jesus never refers to Himself as a king. Even in the gospel here today it is Pilate asking him the question about whether he was a king or not. Jesus does not answer the question directly, but puts it back on Pilate by saying “you are the one who says that I am a king.” If Jesus does not refer to himself as a king where do we get this reference from? Well, part of the reference comes from what we hear in the Book of Revelation in the 2nd reading today. St. John refers to Jesus as the Ruler of the Kings of the earth. I guess if Jesus is the ruler of the kings of the earth then he is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Actually, the Old Testament was looking to the Messiah to be some sort of a conquering hero. The Jews, and this included the Apostles, thought the Messiah was going to be some earthly ruler that was going to restore Israel to prominence. They were hoping this King, this Messiah would be the one to bring the Jewish Kingdom some recognition amongst all the other kingdoms of the world.
Next week will be the 1st Sunday of Advent. It is the time the Church sets aside for us to get ready for the coming of the Savior once again. On this Sunday today, Christ the King, we remember that Jesus, the Messiah, did not come as a mighty king warrior, but as a little insignificant baby. This King of kings and Lord of lords comes to us not in any way the way we thought. It is hard to wrap our heads around it. Jesus comes to us as a king and gives completely of himself for the sake of the people in the kingdom. In the gospel today, as Pilate asks whether Jesus is the king of the Jews, we might opt to cry out the answer for Jesus, “Yes, Amen! Jesus is the king of the Jews, but his kingdom is not of this world. Jesus’ kingdom is the kingdom of the saints and angels in the next world.” Thank God for you, Jesus. I want to thank you for saying yes to the Father and coming among us to bring salvation to the world. My life would not be complete without you.
We want to give a big shout out today to all those whose birthday is in the month of November. I always like when we gather everybody in the front of church and wish them a happy birthday. May God bless you this day.