Christ the King of the Universe
The official name of today’s feast is Christ the King of the Universe. What does this mean? Jesus himself rejected the title of king. “That’s not what I’m about. I just came to reveal the Big Truth, not to be a king in your worldly sense.” Jesus didn’t come to proclaim any kind of domination or control of history. He simply says, “I am naming the deepest meaning of history and the deepest meaning of humanity.” The Franciscan understanding is that the first idea ( the Alpha) of history is that God who is spirit, who is shapeless, who is formless, wanted to take form; that creation, every creature, everything that exists in the material universe, would reveal the invisible God. In a moment in time, this eternal Christ mystery came as a person that you and I call Jesus. This is the deepest, the biggest and vast meaning of the feast of Christ the King of the universe. Rather than ‘king’ maybe we should use the words ‘the first revelation of what’s going on’, ‘the inner DNA of everything.’
There has to be a correspondence between how the universe started and where it’s going; there has to be a connection; there has to be a direction. The second reading tells us that the direction and the meaning were set from the very beginning. “I am the Alpha and the Omega” says the Lord God. The Alpha and the Omega are the same thing. When we experience the universe as Christ-soaked, when we know that the universe is both the hiding place and the revelation of God, when we grow in awareness that in Christ all things were made, we will experience that we are inside of something very sacred, very beautiful, inherently holy and eternal. Each one of us can say, ‘In my beginning is my end.’ (T.S. Eliot)
Jesus bears witness to the Big Truth. The longer I live, the more I believe that truth is not an abstraction or an idea. Truth is who we are.
Adapted: Richard Rohr
Gospel: John 18:33-37
“Are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked. Jesus replied, “Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?” Jesus replied, “Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.” “So you are a king, then?” said Pilate. “It is you who say it” answered Jesus. “Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.”
Verse 38 (not included in today’s reading):
Truth? said Pilate. What is that? And with that he went out again to the Jews.