Christ The King: 19th - 20th November 2016

Gospel, John 18:33-37

33 So Pilate went back into the Praetorium and called Jesus to him and asked him, 'Are you the king of the Jews?'
34 Jesus replied, 'Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others said it to you about me?'
35 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?'
36 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. As it is, my kingdom does not belong here.'
37 Pilate said, 'So, then you are a king?' Jesus answered, 'It is you who say that 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.'

Exploring the Word

Many of the readings from Mark's gospel which we have encountered over the past few weeks focus on the misunderstanding the disciples have about the nature of the kingdom which Jesus proclaimed. They remain locked into an earthly understanding of political power. In this text from John, Jesus makes very explicit that this is not the case. His kingdom is not of this world! Pilot pushes the point in order to trap him into an admission of guilt, 'So you are a king then?' Jesus' kingship, however, is not to be bound by earthly understandings. He is indeed a king but he exercises his kingship by making known the love of God. For this purpose alone he came into the world: to bear witness to the truth that 'God so loved the world that he gave his only son' (John 3:16). It is for the world and all humanity that Christ died so that we should avoid the mistake of thinking that Christ's kingdom is in some way unreal of anchored in the clouds. Whilst it is not of this world it is most definitely anchored in this world. All Christians are challenged to help bring this kingdom to fulfilment here and now. Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven. It is in the lives and hearts of ordinary people and the societies they build that Christ's kingdom lives and awaits completion. We too must bear witness to this truth.[1]

Sharing The Tradition

The Feast of Christ the King is a relatively new one in the Church Calendar. It was established in 1925 by Pope Pius XI after the world had experienced the horrors of World War I and been shocked by the brutality and destruction of that conflict between so-called civilised and Christian nations. The role of the Church in social and cultural life was diminishing and there was a greater separation of Church and State. This feast is sought to confront growing secularism head on. Since Vatican II, the Church has seen itself in a new dialogue with the world and this feast now more strongly reflects upon the nature of Christ's kingship.[1]

Church Foyer

We celebrate the Kingdom of God on the feast of Christ the King as the various Parish Groups contribute to establishing God's Kingdom in our community.

Christ and Pilate - Jesus Christ Superstar

In the following 30 second clip from Jesus Christ Superstar we see Pilate, mankind, struggling, perhaps denying to understand what Jesus means by kingdom.

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