Sunday, November 24, 2019

Our King

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
"He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God."
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
"If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."
Above him there was an inscription that read,
"This is the King of the Jews."

We find today's Gospel passage particularly moving, as we celebrate this solemnity. For what we celebrate is Jesus' crucified love and self-forgetfulness; his dominion has nothing to do with pushing others out of the way so that he can be number one and have control. He has entered Jerusalem meek, riding on a little donkey colt and soon received the only crown we could manage to offer him - one of woven thorns. And so we may call him king, if we understand that He has turned the whole idea of power and majesty absolutely upside-down, inside-out, for his power is made perfect in littleness and weakness.

His kingdom does not belong to this world. He refuses to fight evil with evil, absorbing hurt because of hope and trust in One who is at his side. Jesus embodies the strength that comes from this confidence in his Father’s love. And he invites us into this same place of deep trust and freedom. 

He holds us in love, empowering us to go forward in courage and faith because nothing can really harm us; we belong to him. The worse may happen, truth be told, it already has, and in Christ we are the victors, because he has made us a kingdom of priests, and kings. Baptized into the resurrected, victorious Christ we are of his kingly line.

Photograph by Brother Daniel of a Renaissance glass fragment in an Abbey window.