Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

November 25, 2009

What Kind of King Is This?

My brothers in Christ. What kind of king is this?-born in a borrowed stable, preaching from a borrowed boat, rejected by His putative subjects, and executed as a felon and buried in a borrowed tomb. Here, today, we behold Him interrogated by the procurator of a minor Roman jurisdiction who, with understandable perplexity, asks, "Are you the king of the Jews?"

What kind of king is this, Pilate must be thinking? Are we not a little perplexed ourselves? The readings don't help us much. There are places in the Gospels where we read of Jesus being surrounded by people hanging on His every word, where an excited crowd is ready to proclaim Him king, where He is transfigured in glory before the amazed eyes of His disciples, where He rides triumphantly into the city of Jerusalem with palm branches at His feet. Would not any one of these gospel passages have been more suitable for this Sunday of Christ the King than one in which He stands meekly before Pontius Pilate?

But our perplexity would not be allayed by a different selection of biblical texts. The problem goes deeper. Could not Jesus have secured a more receptive hearing for His message of love and justice for the oppressed? Why did He not come among us as the son of an earthly king, or indeed as the son of the Roman emperor? Then He would have been the most powerful man in the world, a real king, with armies, governors, senators, secretaries, counselors-people who could execute His plans effectively. What is more, He would have won over many followers.
--Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P. Read the full text here. (do it!)

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