November 22, 2015

Good News for Today

Pilate said to Jesus,
“Are you the King of the Jews?” … Jesus answered, “My realm does not belong to this sphere.”(John 18)

Catholics celebrate the feast of “Christ the King” on this last Sunday of the liturgical year. It seems an uneasy fit in the United States, which rejected kings and aristocracy at the revolution. Today, you and I use terms like “lord” and “king” only in religion. The words do not suit daily living.

This “baggage” language detaches what these terms once conveyed—personal loyalty and a unity such a leader creates for his people. Such words shift you away from daily stuff into what religion often has become—an antique, routine and sterile portion of life.

So what IS the Good News here? A reminder that you see and live a reality that is not “this” world. In this sphere–such things as “defense” by means of violence do not belong. In your circle, people regard everybody as “least of the” family of God. In the reality that stays hidden from popular view, from “common sense,” and from current social pressures, you live to heal and share hope, with mysteries and contradictions, practicing respect and making peace.

You acknowledge your current life and its value—that everything you experience comes as gift to be appreciated with poverty of spirit, as a grieving person forever working for justice, enduring mockery and living humbly, but courageously. You resist controlling others.

You trust others—meaning that you trust that you belong in a realm common to other respectful, kind and honest people growing in God. Jesus is not so much your king as your brother–sharing this self-same world.

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