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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 34th in Ordinary Time: Christ the King (B)

1st Reading (Dan 7:13-14): As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.
Responsorial Psalm: 92
R/. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
The Lord is king, in splendor robed; robed is the Lord and girt about with strength.

And he has made the world firm, not to be moved. Your throne stands firm from of old; rom everlasting you are, o Lord.

Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed; holiness befits your house, o Lord, for length of days.
2nd Reading (Rev 1:5-8): Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. All the peoples of the earth will lament him. Yes. Amen. «I am the Alpha and the Omega», says the Lord God, «the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty».
Versicle before the Gospel (Mk 11:9.10): Alleluia. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 18,33-37): Pilate asked Jesus, «Are you the King of the Jews?». Jesus replied, «Does this word come from you, or did you hear it from others?». Pilate answered, «Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?». Jesus answered, «My kingship does not come from this world. If I were king like those of this world, my guards would have fought to save me from being handed over to the Jews. But my kingship is not from here». Pilate asked him, «So you are a king?». And Jesus answered, «Just as you say, I am a king. For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth hears my voice». Pilate said, «What is truth?».

«I am a king. (…) Everyone who is on the side of truth hears my voice»

Fr. Frederic RÀFOLS i Vidal (Barcelona, Spain)

Today's Jesus Christ is presented to us as the King of the Universe. My attention has always been drawn by the emphasis the Bible grants to the word “King” when applied to our Lord. «The Lord is king, robed with majesty», we sing in Psalm 92. «I am a king» (Jn 18:37), we have heard from Jesus' very lips. «Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord» (Lk 19:38), people shouted when He was entering Jerusalem.

The word “King”, applied to God and to Jesus Christ, does not certainly have the inferred meaning we give to it when speaking of the conventional monarchy, as we know it. Yet, in the popular language the word “king” does have a certain affinity with the Biblical language. For instance, when a mother is taking care of his baby and tells him: —You are the king of our home. What is she implying? Just a very simple thing: that her little baby is her number one priority and means everything to her. And when teen-agers claim that so and so is the king of the Rock, they actually mean there is no other one like him; as much as when they refer to the basketball king. Enter a teen-ager room and you will probably see in his walls who are really his “kings”. I believe these popular expressions very much resemble what we mean when we acclaim God as our King and help us to understand Jesus' assertion about his kingdom: «My kingship does not come from this world» (Jn 18:36).

For us Christians our King is our Lord, that is, the centre where the deepest feelings of our lives are going to. When in the Lord's Prayer we say Your kingdom come, we mean we would like to see that more and more people could find the source of their happiness in God, while following the path He shows to us, which is the path of the beatitudes. Let us therefore ask it with all our heart, for «wherever Jesus Christ is, there are our life and our kingdom» (St. Ambrose).

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