Gospel: 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.”
KINGSHIP OF CHRIST: History testifies that all kingdoms of the earth last only for a limited period. However, the Kingship of Christ is unique. It is not only eternal but it also gives Eternal Life to its subjects. In this context, Christ gives Life. Also, Christ’s Kingship is universal (Dan. 7:14). In this context, it surpasses any worldly kinship. It is also catholic; it is open for all. In addition, no power or authority can destroy it. This is shown in that not even death can conquer Christ. To be a member of Christ’s Kinship, we need to acknowledge Jesus as our Lord. We do so in word and in deed. Whenever we follow His commandments and proclaim His Word, we re-state our desire to belong to His Kingdom.
PRAYER: Lord, be my leader for ever.
CHRIST OUR LEADER: In the old days, most of the leaders of the world were kings. As a leader, the king has the role of unifying his people and protecting them from their enemies. A good king rules guided by the laws of the country, and also use force like police and the army, to maintain peace, order and security. Christ’s leadership is different. As king, Jesus Christ reigns over the minds and hearts of individuals through his teachings, which are transmitted faithfully by his church. He also reigns in the heart of individual people by his love for them. He loves people to such an extent that he wants their destiny to be with him in heaven (Luke 23:43). As king, Jesus Christ does not force anybody to do his will, but all those people who willingly live their life according to his teaching. Christ’s reign is internal and is welcomed freely. Once we welcome Christ, Christ in turn welcomes us to heaven.
TO THE RIGHT OR TO THE LEFT: In different societies, the right hand is considered virtuous while the left is taken to be vicious. Handshakes are generally done using the right hand. A left-handed person is seen as abnormal and at times a bad omen. The Bible borrows from such traditions, when it requires one to be on the right as a condition to be welcomed by Christ to his heavenly home. The meaning of the Scriptures however, is not those that are physically on the right but rather, those who do God’s will. God’s will entails carrying out works of mercy as shown by Christ: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, quenching the thirsty, taking care of the sick and consoling prisoners. Such are the people that Christ welcomes to his heavenly home (Mt 25:34-40). Failure to get involved in works of mercy is to be on Christ’s left hand. It is to reject Christ, and as a result, have no room in Heaven. The call is to go the extra mile and do for Christ, that which the unbeliever will not do.