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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (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 18:33b-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."

«I am a king. (…) Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to 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 attributes to the word “King” when applied to our Lord. “The Lord is king, robed with majesty” we sing in Psalm 93. “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 her 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 Rock, they actually mean there is no other one like him; similarly, as when they refer to the basketball king. Enter a teen-ager’s room and you will probably see on 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 is not from here” (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 us, which is the path of the beatitudes. Let us therefore ask it with all our heart, for “wherever Jesus Christ is, there is our life and our kingdom” (St. Ambrose).