Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”
Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that 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.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
What is your image of a king? Palaces? Robes? Armies? Opulence? Jesus chose a very different path and lifestyle than typical earthly kings.
He models for us a new way, one of inner authority and humble service: washing feet; inviting, not forcing; love, not fear; active non-violence.
Pilate is perplexed and sarcastic with the accused impostor “king.” Jesus reveals that his Kingdom “does not belong to this world.” Pilate seeks regular “kingdoms” of power, prestige and possessions – and so do the Temple authorities!
At the end of the liturgical year we recall that the Risen Jesus Christ is king of “the Universe.” The universe, with over a billion galaxies! A personal Jesus is only half the mystery! The Christ exists intimate, indwelling and infinite!
St. Ignatius teaches that the Christ invites us to labor with him as the Way of Life. Do you want to follow this kind of King?
—Fr. Rafael Garcia, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits Central and Southern Province. He serves as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso, Texas, where he ministers to people who are migrants and refugees.
Risen Christ, humble King, give me the grace and the desire to follow your Way, which undercuts the world of power, prestige and possessions.
—Fr. Rafael Garcia, SJ
Please share the Good Word with your friends!