November 21, 2021: Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Gospel – John 18:33b-37
“Pilate said to Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say I am a 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.”
Today’s readings are about Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. They open with the amazing visual of the Son of Man receiving dominion, glory, and kingship over all peoples (Daniel 7:13-14). The Psalm mantra is “The Lord is King; He is robed in majesty.” Then we get to the Gospel only to find Pilate mocking Jesus about being a king! In the background you can hear the mob screaming for crucifixion. Why on earth are we reading this today as we celebrate Jesus as King?
My friend Sister Claire had a succinct way of expressing it – “God’s plan in God’s time.” God’s plan of salvation would have humankind see Jesus twice. Once in rejection and crucifixion and only later returning in glory as King of the Universe.
These parallel readings give me insight into those Disciples who kept negating the idea of rejection and sacrifice. They wanted only the king robed in glory. Most finally accepted and living God’s plan in God’s time.
Some 2,000 years later, each of us is still living in the world anticipating the second coming of the King of the Universe. We, like those disciples, might live our lives then die still awaiting the second coming.
We have Jesus’ words that His Kingdom is not of this world. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. We rest secure in God’s plan in God’s time.
Jesus said, “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” Jesus meant more by this than truth in general. However, for 2021, our world desperately needs people willing to stand for truth. This week, once when we notice others avoiding the truth or unable to find it, let’s step up to discuss how to delve for truth and the importance of truth in our world.