Pilate’s question to Jesus should cause us to consider in our own minds his intentions. Was he worried about his own political sovereignty? Was he worried about Jesus possibly leading all the Jews in an uprising against him… or even Rome? Did he think that Jesus could be his ally in imposing better control over the Jewish people or was he afraid of instigating a Jewish riot by mistreating their king? We don’t know. We can only speculate.
Another area of speculation might be our own concern in asking, “Are you THE King? Are you the one and only King to whom I owe allegiance? Are you MY King? Am I willing to make you numero uno in my life? Am I ready to acknowledge you as the author of all life AND the giver of all gifts I have received and am yet to receive in my life?”
These are pointed questions, I know, but they are the very questions worth contemplating on this day if each of us wants to truly celebrate this feast of Christ the King.
What is Truth?
Today’s Gospel stops short of Pilate’s second famous question to Jesus but it, too, is worth some contemplation because the two are linked. “What is truth?” (Jn. 18:38)
In today’s world, there are many who strive to be king. Politicians, religious fanatics, the wealthy and scoundrels who want to rule by disrupting the law abiding order of society. Each of these groups has their own set of truths by which they justify their attempts to impose their wills on the rest of us and each of them has followers who place them as kings over some aspect of their lives.
We never hear Jesus answer Pilate’s question but the fact is that the Truth is not a thing, it’s a person. Jesus says that He is “the way and the Truth and the life.” (Jn. 14:6) He is the bridge across the chasm of original sin who reunites us to the Father and is the channel of His Grace. That is why we worship Him and believe His Truth. Without a doubt, He is THE King!