Feast of Christ the King 

(John 18:33-37)

What a contrast there is between the two men in today’s Gospel!

Christ the KingPilate is there in all his glory, with the trappings of power, with the magnificent robes, with the impressive guards around him and a powerful army in the barracks awaiting his command. Pilate had risen to political power from being a soldier. He must have been very aware of how powerful he really was. And indeed he had become a real ‘politician’, as we can discern from the way he questions Jesus-neither taking personal responsibility for his actions nor denying the accusations brought against Jesus.

Jesus cuts a very different figure. Perhaps we have seen artists’ impressions of the scene: Jesus is dressed in simple, rough and colourless clothes: He is looking haggard and drawn having spent a sleepless night in the cold basement of Caiphas’s house: he is handcuffed with crudely knotted rope: his supporters are crouched in hiding: and his weapons are not tangible or visible.

But, we may ask, which of these two men is free? Or, who has the real power? Which of them would we admire, trust, follow? Granted, we operate and make our choices with a great deal of ‘hindsight’ but there is something genuine and impressive about the modesty with which Jesus presents himself and answers Pilate’s questions. The crown which He wanted had nothing to do with personal honour; it was to glorify the Father that he came. The throne that he sought did not set him apart from or above the ordinary people; he delighted in being among the 
poor and suffering. His army of followers were not forcibly conscripted; he lovingly drew people to himself by his kindness and compassion. The words that he spoke were not oppressive commands; his words have Life, Direction and Truth. 

The purpose of Jesus’s coming into the world was to bear witness to the Truth. “The Truth will set you free!”. If we hear and accept the Truth spoken by Jesus, then we will indeed receive the Freedom of the Kingdom of the same Jesus Christ, our Universal King.