Based on the Gospel of John: 18:33-37
Two different kings and two different kingdoms. The Jewish leaders were afraid of Jesus’ position and power over the people so they had him arrested and taken to Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. As governor, Pilate was responsible for keeping the peace and in charge of the large Roman army. He also served as a judge when serious crimes were brought to his attention.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, we see Jesus being questioned by Pilate. “Are you the King of the Jews?” Pilate asked Jesus.
“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,” Jesus answered.
Jesus tried to explain he did not come into the world to establish a political kingdom or to free the Jews from Roman rule and power. Jesus came to share his kingdom of truth and love.
Pilate could see that Jesus had done nothing wrong, but he didn’t want to make the Jewish leaders angry. He handed Jesus over to them to be beaten and then crucified.
Out of love for us, Jesus offered his life in sacrifice on the cross and rose from the dead to bring everlasting life in heaven to all who follow him.
Jesus’ kingdom is in the hearts of all people who love God and neighbor. When we pray the Our Father, we say, “thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” As we follow Jesus’ great commandments to love God and neighbor by prayer and acts of kindness, helping, giving, sharing, and forgiving, God’s kingdom grows here on earth.
This Sunday is the last Sunday of the church’s liturgical year – the feast of Christ the King. We celebrate this feast because Jesus is a true king who watches over us with love and protection. He guides us with his commandments and leads us by church teachings. He listens to us when we pray, and he forgives us when we are sorry for our sins. He gives himself to us in the Eucharist. Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ is King.