The Holy Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Wisdom from the Holy Spirit so he can more fully live to honor his King Jesus Christ and His Kingdom and by seeking the Gift of the Fear of the Lord from the Holy Spirit so he can regularly meditate upon the Four Last Things.
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe – 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B – Jn 18:33b-37
In this reading for the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year, the Church celebrates Jesus Christ as the Universal King over all mankind. Responding to the growing secular and atheistic culture, Pope Pius XI established this great feast in 1925 to remind humanity each year of Christ’s absolute kingly reign over all mankind.
During the Passion, Jesus was betrayed by His own (Judas), arrested, bound, beaten, denied by Peter, put through a sham trial by the Jewish leadership, and turned over to Pilate with hopes Pilate will kill Him. Pilate, a savvy Roman strongman administrator, was aware of Jesus’ triumphant kingly entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and of previous false messiah kings who sought to restore the Kingdom of Israel. Upon meeting Jesus, Pilate’s overwhelming concern is to determine if Jesus is a political agitator who seeks to overturn Roman rule and establish a reborn Jewish Kingdom; Pilate asks, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Rather than respond to Jesus’ question about Pilate’s interest in Him, Pilate focuses on if He is a political threat (“What have you done?”).
Jesus, again offering Pilate a chance to save his soul by engaging in the truth of who He is, reveals His Kingship is supernatural, it is infinitely greater than a worldly kingdom. Pilate, lost in spiritual and intellectual darkness, unable to grasp Jesus’ astounding response, dumbly asks, “So you are a king?” Jesus, ever merciful, offers Pilate one last chance to engage by revealing that those who embrace truth recognize Jesus’ witness to truth. Pilate, invincibly darkened, does not grasp he is in the presence of Truth Himself and cynically asks, “What is truth?” (v 38 is omitted from today’s reading).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at Jesus, Divine King, as He professes Truth (a part of Justice) to the evil Pilate: despite being on trial for His life, Jesus Courageously (a part of Fortitude) refuses to negotiate with Pilate; even though Pilate is a murderous pagan tyrant, Divine Charity, Jesus offers Pilate the opportunity for Salvation, asking him if he believes Jesus is King and giving him the chance to accept Truth Himself; Divine King, Jesus reveals the reality that He is the King of a Divine Kingdom that encompasses, but infinitely exceeds the world.
Live to honor your King and His Kingdom
Realize: The Church confirms the existence of the Kingdom of God in The Lord’s Prayer (“thy Kingdom come”) and that Jesus Christ is the King of the Kingdom of God in the Nicene Creed (“…and His Kingdom will have no end”).
Believe: Review the Catechism’s teaching on Thy Kingdom Come (CCC 2804, 2816-2821, 2855-2856, 2859) and the Kingship of Christ (CCC 783, 786, 908, 2105).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Wisdom so You draw me to Yourself, I can experience the reality that Jesus is the King of the Universe, and I more fully grasp the wisdom that I am even now a Catholic man living in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Regularly meditate upon the Four Last Things
Realize: Based directly on Jesus’ teaching, the Church has always taught men about the Last Four Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell.
Believe: Review the Four Last Things (CCC 1006-1065).
Pray: Holy Spirit, help me to always fear God’s just punishment of mortal sin in the fires of Hell and the loss of Heaven, and bless me with the Gift of the Fear of the Lord so I recognize my sinfulness, fear being separated from You due to my freely chosen mortal sin, and always strive to please You.