Is Jesus Really your King? A Homily for Christ the King

 On the feast of Christ the King, we are called to acknowledge that Jesus is in fact our King. It is one thing to say that He is our King because the song in Church says so, or the preacher says so, or the Bible says so (yes, faith does come by hearing), but it is quite another for us to personally say that Jesus is our King. There comes a time when we must personally affirm what the Church has always announced: “Jesus is Lord, and He is King. He is my King. He has authority in my life.” This must become more than just lip service; it must become a daily, increasing reality in our life.

Kings take care of us, but they also have the authority to command us. Do we allow Christ to command us or are we more like the typical modern person who doesn’t like to be told what to do? Perhaps we suffer from the milder form of this attitude in which we reduce Jesus to a “harmless hippie” who just says pleasant things but would never rebuke us or insist upon our repentance.

Again, consider this question: “Is Jesus Christ your King?”

That brings us to today’s Gospel. The Gospels aren’t theater; we’re not in the audience watching an ancient story unfold. No, we are in the story. We are not supposed to just sit back and observe what Peter, or Pontius Pilate, or James, or Mary Magdalene does. They are we and we are they.

This means that when Jesus asks one of them a question, we cannot merely wait to see how he or she will answer. No, we have to answer the question.

In today’s Gospel the spotlight is on Pontius Pilate. The Lord asks the critical question of him. We cannot simply wait to see how he answers; we have to answer. Let’s consider this Gospel in three stages.

I. INDECISION – In a remarkable display of literary artistry, John and the Holy Spirit vividly depict the vacillation of Pontius Pilate. In this Gospel passage of the trial of Jesus, Pilate goes in and out of the praetorium (the governor’s palace) more than a bellhop through the revolving door of a hotel! Indeed, he goes in and out seven times. Here is the text, with the portions describing his motions highlighted in bold:

So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” …. Pilate [re]entered the praetorium and called Jesus …. After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them, “I find no crime in him….” Then Pilate took Jesus [back into the praetorium] and scourged him …. Pilate went out again, and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him ….” When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid; he re-entered the praetorium and [spoke] to Jesus …. Upon this Pilate [went back out] and sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend ….” When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and he sat down on the judgment seat (John 18-19, selected verses).

Did you count them? Seven times Pilate goes into or out of the praetorium! Such a picture of indecision and vacillation! He’s trying to please the crowds. He’s trying to please his wife (who had warned him to have nothing to do with that innocent man (Mat 27:19)). He’s trying to help Jesus. He can’t decide, so in and out he goes!

Pilate is just like us. We say that we love God, but we also love the world. We want to please others and we want to please God, but we cannot do both. We have to decide, but instead we vacillate; we are Pilate. We are often locked in indecision, trying to please the world and God.

Are we really so different from Pilate? Faced with a crucial decision, Pilate weighs the consequences that choosing Jesus will have on his career, his family, his loyalty to country and Caesar, and his access to power. While we may rightly criticize Pilate for his choice, don’t we make compromises with the world for the sake of similar things? How often does Jesus our King take a back seat to career, politics, convenience, and so forth? So easily do we stay rooted in vacillation, compromise, and indecision.

II. INQUIRY – In the midst of all this indecision, comes the question.

Pilate begins with his own question: “Are you the King of the Jews?” (John 18:33) Although it is Jesus who is on trial, He turns the tables on Pilate. Jesus effectively puts Pilate on trial by asking him a crucial question: Are you saying this on your own or have others been telling you about me?” (John 18:34).

It’s a remarkable question! Guess what … You have to answer it. Each of us has to answer it. Don’t wait for Pilate; he already gave his answer and faced judgment long ago. How do we answer it?

Notice what the Lord is getting at with his question. He is asking us if we call him a King merely because we’ve heard others say it or because we personally know him to be a King. Is he really our King, or this just a slogan we’ve heard in church before? Do we believe that He is King or do we merely parrot what we’ve heard others say?

There is an old gospel song that says, “Yes, I know Jesus for myself.” Is that really the case with us? Too many of us are satisfied with a kind of inferential faith. Inferential faith is based merely on what others have said: we think or suppose that Jesus is Lord because our parents said so, or our pastor said so. This is a good beginning, for after all, faith comes by hearing (Rom 10:17), but there comes a moment when we have to say so. It is not enough that our parents say so or our pastor says so. Thus, Jesus is asking us right now, Are you saying [I am King] on your own or merely because others have said so?

Answer Him! It’s a crucial question, isn’t it? The faith of the Church is essential, normative, and determinative, but at some point we have to step up and say that we personally affirm that the faith of the Church is true and is ours, and then declare, “Jesus is Lord and King.”

What does it mean that Jesus is King? A king has authority, doesn’t he? Does Jesus have authority in our life? Do we have the obedience of faith (Rom 1:5) and base our life upon His will?

A king also takes care of his people and protects them. Do we allow the Lord to feed us with the Holy Eucharist? Do we allow Him to protect us from the poison of sin by the Sacrament of Confession and the medicine of His Holy Word? Are we willing to live within the protection of the walled city of His Church?

Is the Lord really our King? How do we answer? Is it just a slogan or is His Kingship real? Let the Lord ask one more time, Are you saying [I am King] on your own or have others been telling you about me?

III. INDICATION – Jesus says,  I came into this world to testify to the truth and everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me. So do you qualify? There are many who pay lip service to Jesus. They praise him for some of his teachings but not all. Many too, make up a false Jesus and say that he would never say what he is clearly recorded as saying in the Gospels and Epistles. But he fake Jesus cannot save you; only the real one. We all sin and fall short, but at least call it what it is, Sin. The defiance that is too common today is very dangerous and does not lead the defiant to the Kingdom.

IV. IMPLICATION – We must answer. To refuse to answer is to answer.

A fascinating and wondrous literary device is used by John and the Holy Spirit in this Gospel passage. We have already seen how Jesus, who was Himself on trial, has turned the tables and effectively put Pilate on trial. Pilate, who has the duty to question Jesus, is now being questioned by Him. It is Pilate who must now make a decision, not so much about Jesus, but about himself. He has been asked a question that he cannot ultimately avoid, and now it is time to answer. Here is where the ingenious literary device comes into play. Look carefully at this passage from John’s Gospel and see if you notice anything strange about it.

Upon this [the shouting of “Crucify him!”] Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend; everyone who makes himself a King sets himself against Caesar.” When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and he sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gabbatha (John 19:12-13).

What is strange here? Well, notice that when Pilate has Jesus brought out, it says that “he” sat down on the judgment seat. Who exactly is sitting on the judgment seat? One might think, Pilate, of course! Historically, that might be true, but the text is ambiguous as to exactly who “he” is. Most Scripture scholars argue that the line is supposed to be ambiguous.

From the standpoint of historical facts, it was likely Pilate who took that seat, but from the standpoint of divine justice, it is Jesus who takes it.

Jesus has turned the tables on Pilate. Pilate is now on trial and the verdict is about to be revealed. Pilate seals his own fate when he hands Jesus over to be crucified; his vacillation is over. Pilate has made his choice; he has answered the question.

In this context it is Jesus who sits silently upon the judgment seat. The verdict is in. In deciding to hand Jesus over, in deciding to favor himself and the crowds over Jesus, Pilate has brought judgment on himself.

Too many of us have cartoonish notions about our final judgment: a benign Jesus giving us a great big hug, or an angry one gleefully passing judgment on His “enemies.” Perhaps there is also some notion of a review of our deeds, both good and bad, and then the pronouncing of some sort of verdict while we cringe and wait. Jesus is not a King who imposes His Kingdom. He invites us to enter into His Kingdom. Ultimately, judgment is about our choice, not His.

Judgment is finally this: The Lord, who suffered for us, quietly and respectfully sits on the judgment seat and accepts our final choice, a choice that is the accumulation all the choices we made in life, a choice that is now and forever fixed. Isn’t that what really happens?

The Lord has asked the question of Pilate, as he does of us. The choice is for Pilate to make and the judgement is one he brings on himself. His choice is either to accept the Lord’s Kingship or to reject it and watch Jesus led away while he (Pilate himself) stands alone, the judgment having been rendered by virtue of his own choice.

Yes, there are implications to whether we accept the Lord as our King or not. Today, the Lord asks us all if we will let Him be our King. To those of us who say yes, the Lord has this further question: “Are you saying this on your own or have others been telling you about me?” Is He really our King? Think hard about it. There are implications.

The question that we must answer has now been answered by Pilate. What is your answer?

 

2 Replies to “Is Jesus Really your King? A Homily for Christ the King”

  1. I recall a comment on this blog a while ago.


    Posted on September 11, 2010 by Msgr. Charles Pope
    God’s Love For Us Is Crazy! A Meditation on the Gospel for the 24th Sunday of the Year

    Crazy! – The three parables of today’s lengthy Gospel challenge our conventional thinking. All three of them are quirky and describe people doing things that we most likely would NOT do. In fact all three of them, especially the first two, seem crazy. Who would ever do what the shepherd of the lost sheep and the woman of the lost coin do? No one, really. Likewise the Father in the Story of the Prodigal Son breaks all the rules of “tough love.” His forgiveness has an almost reckless quality. No father of Jesus’ time would ever tolerate such insolence from his sons. It just wasn’t accepted. So all three of these parables, at one level, are just plain crazy.

    But that is one of the most fundamental points Jesus seems to be making here. The Heavenly Father’s love for us is just plain “crazy.” I do not mean it is irrational by using this word, but it does stretch the limits of our human thinking. Neither do I intend irreverence by using the word “crazy.” Permit a preacher’s hyperbole so that we can enter into the astonishing quality of God’s love and mercy. It cannot be understood or really explained in human terms. Who really understands unlimited and unconditional love? Who can really grasp the depths of God’s mercy? His grace is “amazing” in that it goes completely beyond my ability to comprehend. It transcends merely human concepts. Thank God! If God were like us we’d all be in trouble, frankly, we’d all be in Hell.

    Let’s look at each Parable. The Gospel texts are too lengthy to reproduce here. But you can read the whole of it here: Luke 15

    1. The Parable of the Lost Sheep– The Lord speaks of a shepherd who leaves ninety-nine sheep to search for one who is lost. Would a shepherd likely do this? Probably not! The passage drips with irony, even absurdity. Perhaps if the lost sheep were near at hand he might venture over the next hill. But the average human shepherd would cut his losses and stay with the ninety-nine. Many of us might even consider it irresponsible to leave ninety-nine to search for one. Some people try and make sense of this parable by appealing to possible shepherding practices of the First Century. But this seems to miss the point that God’s love is extravagant, personal, and puzzling. In the end, it would seem that God loves us for “no good reason.” He seems to love us even “more” when we stray. He intensifies his focus on the one who strays. To us this is not only crazy, it is dangerous, possibly enabling. But don’t try to figure it out. Don’t analyze too much. Just be astonished, be amazed. Yes, this is crazy. That God loves me is crazy, unexplainable.

    2. The Woman and the Lost coin– A woman loses a drachma. It is a small coin. Not worth that much really, perhaps one day’s wages for an agricultural worker. In modern terms less than $100. Not insignificant, but not really huge amount either. She sweeps diligently for it. So far, this seems reasonable. I’d probably look around a while for a missing “Benjamin” ($100 bill). But then it gets crazy. She finds it and rejoices to such an extent that she spends most, if not all of it, on a party celebrating the found coin! Crazy! But that is exactly the point. God doesn’t count the cost. Some commentators try to explain the craziness away by suggesting that perhaps the coin had sentimental value as part of her dowry or ceremonial head-dress of ten coins. But here too, over analyzing and trying to explain or make sense of it may well miss the point. This woman is crazy because God is crazy. His love for us is extravagant beyond what is humanly reasonable or explainable. Don’t try to figure it out. Don’t analyze too much. Just be astonished, be amazed. Yes, this is crazy. That God loves me is crazy, unexplainable.

    3. The Prodigal Son– A young son, entitled by law to a third of the Estate (since he was the younger son) tells his Father to drop dead. He wants his inheritance now. The old man isn’t dying fast enough. Incredibly the father gives it to him! Crazy! No father in the ancient world would ever tolerate such irreverence and insolence from a son. The Father is a nobleman (land owner) and could hand his son over to serious retribution for such dishonor. The son leaves his father and goes off to “a distant land” where he sinks so low, he is looking up to pigs. He comes to his senses, rehearses a speech and returns to his father, hoping only to be a hired worker.

    But here’s where it gets even crazier! The Father sees him a long way off (meaning he was looking for him). He does something a nobleman would not do: he runs. Running was considered beneath the dignity of a nobleman since it would imply he was either a slave on an errand or a fugitive running. Further, in order for a person to run in the ancient world, they had first to gird the loins of their garments. Since the garments were long flowing robes they had to be “hiked up.” Otherwise, the legs would get tangled in the garment and the person would trip. But for a nobleman to show his legs was considered an indignity. Get the picture? This nobleman, this father, is debasing himself, humbling himself. He is running and his legs are showing. This is crazy. Do you know what this son has done? Done he deserve this humble love? No! This father is crazy! – Exactly! The heavenly Father is crazy too. He actually loves me and humbles himself for me. He even sent his own Son for me. Do you know what I have done….what you have done? Do we deserve this? No! It’s crazy.

    The second son is also a handful. When he hears of the party for the wayward brother he refuses to enter. Again this is unthinkable in the ancient world for a son to refuse to report when summoned by a father. What does the father do? He comes out and pleads with him! Again, crazy! Unthinkable. No father in the ancient world would ever permit a son to speak to him in the way this second son spoke. The son basically calls him a slave-driver who issues orders and refuses to enter the party that his father is hosting. He says he’d rather celebrate with his friends than with his father. But (pay attention here), the goal in life is not celebrate with your friends. The goal in life is to celebrate with the Father in heaven.

    This father is crazy. He is crazy because God the Father is crazy. Do you know what it is to refuse to do what God says? And yet we do it every time we sin! The heavenly Father should not have to tolerate this. He is God and we are creatures. If he wanted, he could squash us like a bug. But he does not. The father in this parable is almost “dangerously” merciful. Shouldn’t his sons learn a lesson here? Shouldn’t he punish them both for their insolence? Yes, all our human thinking kicks in. But God is God, not man. There are other scriptures that speak of his punishments. But in the end, none of us get what we really deserve. The point of Jesus here is that God is merciful and his love is crazy. It makes no human sense. His love for us is extravagant beyond what is humanly reasonable or explainable. Don’t try to figure it out. Don’t analyze too much. Just be astonished, be amazed. Yes, this is crazy. That God loves me is crazy, unexplainable.

    Crazy!

    CategoriesBible, homilies
    TagsFather, God, Grace, homilies, love, Mercy
    32 Replies to “God’s Love For Us Is Crazy! A Meditation on the Gospel for the 24th Sunday of the Year”

    Vijaya
    September 11, 2010 at 21:51

    Yes, even parental love cannot come close to defining God’s love. We are indeed lucky that God is crazy in love with us … happy, contented sigh.
    Msgr. Charles Pope
    September 12, 2010 at 06:17

    Yes, crazy in love!
    Dismas
    September 12, 2010 at 12:51

    “The three parables of today’s lengthy Gospel challenge our conventional thinking.”

    Thrice crazy in love!
    CastingCrown
    September 12, 2010 at 01:00

    Whenever I lead Bible study, towards the end, I always ask the question: “How does this passage preach the Gospel?” Often times people are very tentative in suggesting in answer, but this week everyone was “Duh! God loves us so much He comes looking for us!”

    Makes me happy.
    Msgr. Charles Pope
    September 12, 2010 at 06:17

    Great. He’s the “Hound of Heaven”
    Lester Solely
    September 12, 2010 at 04:52

    Good article with some very good points. I would replace the ‘God is crazy’ part with ‘God’s Mind is not our mind.’ As the verse goes ‘so high above are My Thoughts than your thoughts’, or words to that effect. Saying something seems crazy to our knowledge or logic is fine, but I don’t think calling God crazy is wise…
    Msgr. Charles Pope
    September 12, 2010 at 06:20

    Ah, you do not appreciate the preacher’s hyperbole! Welcome to the world of preaching in the African American setting where hyperbole is more accepted. But I understand your concern. As I say, it is hyperbole meant to make a point on the shocking quality of these parables.
    Doug
    September 12, 2010 at 06:25

    “If we are out of our minds, it is for God… if we are in our right mind it is for you” 2 Cor 5:13
    Isn’t the Bible funny?
    :o)
    Msgr. Charles Pope
    September 12, 2010 at 10:11

    Great text!
    Becky
    September 12, 2010 at 05:48

    Msgr Pope- Thank you for this sweet and beautiful illustration! I am sending it to a couple people whose hearts are just starting to open to God, and praying that he will speak to them through you, as he frequently does to me in your blogs.
    Msgr. Charles Pope
    September 12, 2010 at 06:21

    Thank you for spreading the Word and I am glad it helps.
    jedesto
    September 12, 2010 at 11:27

    Msgr. Pope,
    I can’t find the quote online, but I believe it’s near the end of Graham Greene’s novel, The End of the Affair, where he has one of the characters remark about how “desperately” God loves us. Crazily, too.
    adele
    September 12, 2010 at 16:33

    Msgr.Pope….You are in good company with the use of hyperbole…Jesus often used it Himself when tryng
    to impress an important point on our imperfect minds…as in Matt. 5: 27-30. Thanks for this wonderful
    description/reminder of God’s love for us….inspite of how unworthy we are, we can always come to the Father!
    Doctor Victoria A. Howard, Anchoress
    September 12, 2010 at 18:51

    Yes, God forgives us anything. But should we forgive criminals and let them out of jail? Wouldn’t all Hell break loose? God does not let us out of Hell at all; and out of Purgatory, he only allows after we have paid the price. Pope John Paul II did not ask the government to allow his potential assassin out of jail. Forgiveness should only go so far. Jesus’ parables are hyperboles in my opinion. Even if we confess our sins, we must take the temporal punishment, all of us sooner or later. Yes, God does require that we pay for our sins. Is this a contradiction? No, not at all. There are simply some things that our law requres when people break it.
    Dismas
    September 12, 2010 at 20:23

    Dr. Howard,

    You call to mind a couple of quotes from Msgr’s 9/8 post ‘The Cross is the Tuning Fork the True Faith’

    ‘God chastises every son who he acknowledges. Let him prepare to be chastised or else not seek to be acknowledged as a son.’ (sermo 46:10-11) (St. Augustine)

    ‘The cross is like a tuning fork. Without the “A 440″ of the Cross the whole symphony is out of tune.’ (Msgr Pope)
    adele
    September 12, 2010 at 20:54

    Here is what St. Bernard of Clairvaux had to say about chapter 15 of Luke’s gospel:

    “What greater proof could he have given of his mercy than by taking upon himself that which needed
    mercy? Where is there such fullness of loving-kindness as in the fact that the Word of God became
    perishable like the grass for our sakes?…Let man infer from this how much God cares for him. Let him
    know from this what God thinks of him, what he feels about him. Man, do not ask about your own sufferings,
    but what he suffered. Learn from what he was made for you, how much he makes of you, so that his kindness
    may show itself to you from his humanity. The lesser he has made himself, in his humanity, the greater he
    has shown himself in kindness. The more he humbles himself on my account, the more powerfully he engages
    my love.”
    Robertlifelongcatholic
    September 12, 2010 at 21:31

    There would appear to be nothing crazy about God’s love because it is all consuming and beyond all worldly understanding but not beyond spiritual wisdom. When we strive for the latter and not the former, then it is only natural and a redeeming experience of being. That’s challenging for us but not impossible. We are so close and yet often so far away. Focused on the temporal but existing in the eternal. Chasing blind ambitions while the will of God swirls around us like gusts of wind. Sail into the mystic.
    Robertlifelongcatholic
    September 12, 2010 at 21:58

    After meditating on these three parables, it would appear there is nothing crazy about God’s love. It is in losing the ambitions of our material dreams that we gain the spiritual wisdom of God’s eternal love Who’s will exceeds blind temporal wishes. The insight gained in finding what was lost allows us to express and share the redeeming experience of God’s love and wisdom. It is so close and yet most often so far away because of our ignorance of the obvious. Out of our chaotic battles tring to hold things under control, the Spirit arises like a gust of wind unawares. Sail into the Mystic.
    Tom
    September 13, 2010 at 09:28

    This post reminds me of St. Catherine of Siena’s expressions of wonder. E.g., “O eternal, infinite Good! O mad lover! And you have need of your creature? It seems so to me, for you act as if you could not live without her, in spite of the fact that you are Life itself, and everything has life from you and nothing can have life without you.

    “Why then are you so mad? Because you have fallen in love with what you have made! You are pleased and delighted over her within yourself, as if you were drunk for her salvation. She runs away from you and you go looking for her. She strays and you draw closer to her: You clothed yourself in our humanity, and nearer than that you could not have come.”
    Michael
    September 13, 2010 at 10:22

    In light of all this, we need to be careful in asking the Father to forgive us as we forgive others. Fortunately, he forgives me a whole lot better than I forgive others.
    Grandpa Tom
    September 13, 2010 at 11:40

    Todays (Monday wk IV) reading from the Divine Office – Liturgy of the Hours; Office of Readings at the intercessions says:
    “We praise you, Lord, we hope in you.
    We thank you because you are rich in mercy,
    -and for the abundant love with which you have love us.

    With out God’s love and mercy, there would be no salvation. In Shakespeare’s – “The Merchant of Venice,” Portia say of mercy: “it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed.
    It is blessed by him that gives and him that takes. — This the mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown. — The attribute to awe and majesty, wherein doth sit the dread and fear of Kings; — But mercy is above this scept’red sway; It is entrhroned in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself, and earthly power doth then show likest God’s. When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew (Shylock), though justice be thy plea, consider this: That in the course of justice, none of us should see salvation. — We do pray for mercy. And that same prayer doth t each us all to render the deeds of mercy. I have spoken thus much to mitigate the justice of thy plea.”
    Tewkes
    September 13, 2010 at 12:02

    You make so many excellent points, and I suspect the visiting priest at our parish last night feels the same way. His homily was very much like what I have read here. I always learn something when I read your posts, Msgr. Pope. Thank you so much for all that you do for your online flock.
    Peter Wolczuk
    September 17, 2010 at 15:05

    The first thing which came to my mind was the time, years ago, when I told a woman that I was madly in love with her. There are probably others who frequent these pages who have said the same thing. Crazy/mad – synonyms? If they’re not exactly then any differences would hardly be worth debating.
    But then I ask myself; is God’s love so crazy that it goes right around the “circle” to the other end of the spectrum to super sane? Or, better yet, is His love for us so infinitely and perfectly sane in a way that is so beyond our understanding that it seems crazy from our limited human viewpoint. Seems like a good illustration of why the Mysteries are so important.
    But, then when I read the part of the father of the prodigal humbling himself, I can’t help but think of Christ’s humility during His mission to ransom us from the consequences of our actions (sin.) From a heavanly status at the right hand of God the Father to a human carpenter who takes up a mission; In Matthew 11:29 He is “humble of heart”; and…in Matthew 27:27-31 His coronation. The most powerful military force in North Africa, Europe and the Mediterranian part of Asia crowns Him not with a crown of gold and jewels, but with thorns. Nor is He crowned by the Emporer, or even a centurion. He is crowned by the rank and file soldiers whose sweat and blood on the ground had built & maintained the empire. And the scorn, mockery and physical violence which they heaped on Him. Who but a humble King would go through such a coronation, or submit to it being done by the common soldiers. A coronation which was confirmed when the Jews asked that the sign reading “King of the Jews” be changed to read that He was accused of claiming that He was such a king when Pilate replied, “What IPeter Wolczuk
    September 17, 2010 at 15:05

    The first thing which came to my mind was the time, years ago, when I told a woman that I was madly in love with her. There are probably others who frequent these pages who have said the same thing. Crazy/mad – synonyms? If they’re not exactly then any differences would hardly be worth debating.
    But then I ask myself; is God’s love so crazy that it goes right around the “circle” to the other end of the spectrum to super sane? Or, better yet, is His love for us so infinitely and perfectly sane in a way that is so beyond our understanding that it seems crazy from our limited human viewpoint. Seems like a good illustration of why the Mysteries are so important.
    But, then when I read the part of the father of the prodigal humbling himself, I can’t help but think of Christ’s humility during His mission to ransom us from the consequences of our actions (sin.) From a heavanly status at the right hand of God the Father to a human carpenter who takes up a mission; In Matthew 11:29 He is “humble of heart”; and…in Matthew 27:27-31 His coronation. The most powerful military force in North Africa, Europe and the Mediterranian part of Asia crowns Him not with a crown of gold and jewels, but with thorns. Nor is He crowned by the Emporer, or even a centurion. He is crowned by the rank and file soldiers whose sweat and blood on the ground had built & maintained the empire. And the scorn, mockery and physical violence which they heaped on Him. Who but a humble King would go through such a coronation, or submit to it being done by the common soldiers. A coronation which was confirmed when the Jews asked that the sign reading “King of the Jews” be changed to read that He was accused of claiming that He was such a king when Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.” A comfirmation by the Roman commander of the area.

  2. Peter Wolczuk
    September 17, 2010 at 15:05

    The first thing which came to my mind was the time, years ago, when I told a woman that I was madly in love with her. There are probably others who frequent these pages who have said the same thing. Crazy/mad – synonyms? If they’re not exactly then any differences would hardly be worth debating.
    But then I ask myself; is God’s love so crazy that it goes right around the “circle” to the other end of the spectrum to super sane? Or, better yet, is His love for us so infinitely and perfectly sane in a way that is so beyond our understanding that it seems crazy from our limited human viewpoint. Seems like a good illustration of why the Mysteries are so important.
    But, then when I read the part of the father of the prodigal humbling himself, I can’t help but think of Christ’s humility during His mission to ransom us from the consequences of our actions (sin.) From a heavanly status at the right hand of God the Father to a human carpenter who takes up a mission; In Matthew 11:29 He is “humble of heart”; and…in Matthew 27:27-31 His coronation. The most powerful military force in North Africa, Europe and the Mediterranian part of Asia crowns Him not with a crown of gold and jewels, but with thorns. Nor is He crowned by the Emporer, or even a centurion. He is crowned by the rank and file soldiers whose sweat and blood on the ground had built & maintained the empire. And the scorn, mockery and physical violence which they heaped on Him. Who but a humble King would go through such a coronation, or submit to it being done by the common soldiers. A coronation which was confirmed when the Jews asked that the sign reading “King of the Jews” be changed to read that He was accused of claiming that He was such a king when Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.” A comfirmation by the Roman commander of the area.

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