Feast of Christ the King: November 25th, 2012.
Reading 1: Revelations 1:5-8, Gospel John 18:33-37. See Mass Readings on HomePage.
‘YES, I AM A KING!’
‘He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood.’ (notice the present tense, ‘he loves us’) (First Reading, Revelations 1:5)
‘Yes, 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.’ (John 12:37)
‘YES, I AM A KING!’ – There’s that I AM again! It’s all over St. John’s Gospel, because it’s a foundational Jewish phrase, heard when Moses asked God to tell him Who sent him: “Tell them ‘I AM’ sent you! “
Jesus used it so often- I AM the light of the world, I AM the living bread come down from heaven, I AM the Good Shepherd, I AM the way, the truth, and the life; Before Abraham was, I AM. And now, in front of the Roman Governor who has power of life and death over him, who asks Jesus ‘Are you a king?’, the reply is ‘Yes, I am a king!’, “Yes, I AM a king!’ – and the only territory I rule is human hearts who welcome me as the truth. ‘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.’ In St. John’s Gospel, why did Jesus use this I AM so often? Because he is from God and is God,- ‘the Word was with God and the Word was God… and the Word became flesh and set up his tent among us.’ (John 1)
I found an envelope these past few days with a phrase written on it that I heard from a Redemptorist brother, Brother Michael, in some conversation in the past year: ‘ Yes, we receive Christ: but does Christ receive us?’ That’s all,- and there’s eating and drinking in the question. I leave it with you. Does he receive you, does he receive me?
In our church that is in so much turmoil and pain, from within and without, it’s good to have a feast day for the whole church that recognises and proclaims that Jesus Christ is King and Lord of us all, together, in his one body.
The King we honour is the one who was found in a manger in a stable, the one who wept over the death of his friend Lazarus, the one who hung nailed to a cross with the ironic words of Pilate above his head in three languages ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’, ( I.N.R.I.), and the one who is mocked and ridiculed by so many, still, today.
Click on www.emptifulvessels.com/Jesus is Lord/ for a reflection ‘Jesus is Lord’: it picks up on that question above. Jesus is King, but is He,- in my life?
Fr. Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R.