Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on November 22, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

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.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: We celebrate on this last Sunday of the liturgical year, as we do every year, the kingship of Jesus. The gospel passage we read is the interrogation of Jesus by Pilate, one in which the nature of Jesus’ kingship is the dominant theme. Pilate, the representative of the Roman Empire, asks in a mocking voice whether Jesus is a king, but Jesus, full of a dignity and power that Pilate apparently did not anticipate, challenges Pilate. Pilate modulates his tone in recognition that something is in Jesus that he had not at first recognized. In the conversation that follows, Jesus makes clear that he is a king but his kingship is not the kind that people in this world understand: My kingdom does not belong to this world. If his kingship is not a worldly one, then what is is?

Jesus says that his kingship lies in his mission of witness: I came into the world to testify to the truth. Jesus is the very Word of the Father who has come and pitched his tent with us. The Father cannot lie, so the Father’s Word is entirely the Truth. And when we hear the Truth and conform to it, by our lives lived for the poor and oppressed, prayerful attentiveness to the Spirit’s urging, and commitment to carrying the gospel with us, we are ourselves subjects of Christ the King.

Spiritual reading: You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to become great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:42-45)

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