In this Sunday’s Gospel, we saw Jesus, whom Christians name “King of Kings,” being judged by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. In response to Pilate, Jesus says:
You say I am a king. For this was I 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 18:37)
“What is truth?” This is a question for our time. Do we really want to know the truth about who God is and about how he wants us to live our lives in relationship with him? There is an objective truth based upon natural law and on the law of God—given to us by way of his revelation in the Scriptures and his Church. When Pope Benedict XVI began his papacy, he said that one of the greatest concerns of our times is relativism, a commonly-held doctrine causing individuals to trust more in their own logic and in ideologies to which they’re attracted, than to trust what God has revealed.
Jesus said, “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” To belong to the truth is to choose Jesus Christ as our King, our Lord and Savior, and to allow the truth of God’s revelation in the Scriptures and the Church to shape our lives. It is this authority that enables us to cling to God’s promises, so that we will always have hope in every circumstance.
Pilate asks the people if they want him to release Jesus to them. They said, “Not him but Barabbas!” They rejected Jesus as their King and called for his crucifixion. They spoke out of ignorance, but their ignorance had consequences.
This is not the only time that Jesus Christ and his Kingship were rejected. He has been rejected throughout history, mostly out of ignorance, whenever the truths he has revealed have been rejected. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:16) When we reject Jesus, we are rejecting God’s revealed plan for our salvation.
Questions for This Week
What does this Feast of Christ the King mean to us; to you and me? It is an opportunity to look at our relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Is he our King and the Lord of our life?
- Do we belong to him and the truths he has revealed?
- Do we listen to his voice? Or do we reject him because we really do not know him or take him seriously?
My Personal Story
Thirty-two years ago when I was a hotel manager, I was having lunch with the Food & Beverage Manager when he asked me, “Is Jesus the Lord of your life?”
I don’t remember what I told him, but I do remember that my answer should have been “No.” I went to Mass every Sunday, but that was the end of my faith experience for the week. However, that question began to haunt me. I believed in God, but how much influence did he have on the decisions I made; very little?
That was a wake-up call for me. Where was I going with my life? What were my priorities? How important was my faith?
Shortly afterward, I bought my first Bible and joined a prayer group at St. Matthew parish. Through a series of decisions and circumstances, my faith become alive and a major influence in my life.
Finding True Happiness
I thank God for that wake-up call, because it changed the course of my life. I am truly grateful that God gave my wife Mary Jane and me, at the same time, the grace to desire a personal relationship with him. There are no words to describe the joy we have discovered these past 40 years of marriage as a result of our efforts to place God first in our lives. It is only possible to reach our potential for happiness in this life and for all eternity when our life is ordered to God, according to the truths he has revealed to us through the Church and the Scriptures.
- We invite Jesus to be our Lord and King by a commitment to daily prayer, and inviting him to be with us every day throughout the day.
- We stay connected to him by faithfully attending Mass, and by encountering him in the sacraments and in the holy scriptures.
- We defend ourselves against the ignorance of this age by being formed in our faith, and allowing Mother Church to guide us on our pilgrimage through this life—so that we will always have hope.
To say that Jesus is our King is not just an act of our intelligence or of our faculties to perceive his message; it is first of all a matter of a heart that is willing to be open, a heart that has a desire to believe what God has revealed, to live what we believe, and to share what we believe with others so that they may also believe.
God’s plan for us is not complicated. He said we must be like children to enter the kingdom of heaven. We must trust and depend upon God as a child trusts and depends upon its parents. Without exception, each of us has to intentionally choose Jesus as our Lord and King, for our own salvation, and to help save the souls of others—especially those whom we love.
Pilgrim Center of Hope is here to help. Explore more about reaching your potential for happiness; we invite you to watch our weekly broadcast TV & video series. May you be renewed in hope as you reflect on Christ as your King.
Updated Monday 11/26/2018 9am CST