Solemnity of Christ the King – Cycle B
Reflecting on John 18: 33b-37
When Jesus tells Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world” I always squirm a little. Why isn’t it? Why isn’t the incarnation—God made flesh and dwelling among us—the kingdom of God? I squirm because I really, really like this world, and there are many moments every day where I think, “Yes, this is the kingdom, right here.”
Now that we have come to the end of the Year of Mark we can look back and find all kinds of ways in which Jesus created the kingdom while he lived. Remember those four friends who carried their paralyzed friend across town, then took the roof off and lowered him down so that Jesus could heal him? That’s the kingdom, right there.
Or remember when Jairus compelled Jesus to go off in a new direction in order to heal his daughter, and in so doing Jesus walked right into the path of the hemorrhaging woman, who reached out and grabbed the hem of the Kingdom as he passed? A young girl and an aging woman, both brought back to health because they met the Kingdom of God.
There was Peter’s wife’s mother who, overjoyed at being made well, immediately resumed her life of service to the Kingdom. These are just a few of the stories Mark told us this year, but they all end the same: the encounter with Jesus is the encounter with the Kingdom, and yet the fullness of that kingdom is still to come. Let’s let Handel, and Revelation 11:15, end the year for us:
The Kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and of his Christ!
What glimpses of the Kingdom do you have in your life?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
What glimpses of the Kingdom do I have in my life? Where do I begin? Last week I sat down to Thanksgiving dinner and looked around in amazement and gratitude at the family I never dreamed I could have. That is the Kingdom present in my life. Two weekends ago, one of my sisters came for her annual visit to celebrate our birthdays, and we sat in the Bob Carr Center for the Arts to hear Bronfman perform Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. It’s impossible to hear that yearning and triumphant music without feeling grace, and to experience it together was no less than a glimpse of the Kingdom. Hearing stories of my niece and nephew in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood working so hard to volunteer and gather supplies for those who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy, knowing that their values and worldview come from the lessons taught by my younger sister and her husband: that is a glimpse of the Kingdom. I could go on and on, but I do want to make one special mention of this little corner of the internet: I’ve not faithfully followed the beautiful reflections posted here by Kathy and the many people who have shared their thoughts, but every visit lifts my spirit and reawakens my love of the Word and the community that is created by the Word alive and active in our world. And if the holy conversations that happen here are not a glimpse of the Kingdom, I don’t know what is.
Oh, well said, Michael…well said!!!
Yes Michael you have a way of reflecting love and exceptance that reminds us why we come here to Kathy’s site and comment on her beautiful insight on The Word of God. I also haven’t been the most faithful member of this Holy and soul searching site which reminds me why I feel empty, I neglect to reflect on the readings the word of God Himself, Now Kathy my dear this is a dear Blessing for we Christians who sometime find ourselves wondering “what on earth is the Lord trying to tell me in this or that reading?” My Kingdom is under constant reconstruction. And that may be the way it is for everyone, I don’t know, I know for so reason May be jealousy, People who seem too good and perfect bother me. My Kingdom oddly is when I step into confesion with all my sins and naughtiness and lay it all out before the Lord, and then I am told He still loves me. I use to want to change some of the traditions that the Catholic Church holds on to sooo faithfully and of course thise changes were to accomondate myself not the spiritual life of God’s children. My true Kingdom came when I realized that the Catholic Church is a real living breathing part of Christ Himself and since He is indeed perfect and needs no change So to It is with our Church. Jesus is the perfect God living mid sinners and This Catholic Faith that He keeps calling me back to, is the perfect word holding tight in these troubled times and sinful people with firm and unshakable traditions and truthful wisedom. Truth in this world of chaos is like a beacon, guiding us across the foggy sea until we are guided back to our Father’s Kingdom.
I, too, have not been faithful to this cyber site but life happens and when life happens I hope we respond to that call of grace. What is so liberating about this cyber community is that we are not under pressure and do not always have to “contribute” a thought. Another liberating thing is that we do not have to be as eloquent as the other postings. And it’s a joy to be drinking from this fountain that Kathy has created.
Cris, Thank You for understanding and saying that, I have a fear of writing my thoughts down and sharing them.
The Kingdom seems to be everywhere on this earth.
I don’t want to sound trite; everybody seems to love babies, and most of us like kids. But the delight that I feel in seeing the faces and movements and hearing the language of babies transcends my responses to almost anything else. The Kingdom has got to be present there.
Then as kids start to talk, most of us have heard comments from at least one child that is so on target that they set US straight without even knowing it. Something else has to be going on there.
God has gifted us in the past few years with having our 10 year old grandson live with us. At times he really tries my patience, and I talk to God in prayer about it. At one point in prayer I felt that God was asking me to try and look at my grandson when I start getting irritated, to keep an eye on him as subtly as I can, because my love for him is so strong that maybe if I look at him it would soften my tendency to get angry and I could remain as calm as possible. And it is true, it is harder to be angry at him when I see his face. Maybe the Kingdom just lives on the faces of children. It does sound trite but it must be worth saying again if it helps to soften a heart in times of stress.
Betsy, thank you for the beautiful and profound idea. Don’t think for a moment it is trite. I am going to do my best to remember this next time I need the grace of patience and forbearance.
Glimpses of the Kingdom of God hear on earth.
Ever since I have been attending adoration on a weekly basis for the past 3 years, my life has been changed in only a way that is so profound. As my heart very rarely aches, I have found a calm peace in my body. Although, there are times when my body physically aches, my inner being is at peace most of the time. As long as I let the spirit work in me, I am at peace. I have witness to the Kingdom almost daily. Today as I realized that I had promised to drive my son downtown to his classes at MSU (all the way from Thornton), I didn’t think I was going to make the turnaround time to get home and get myself ready for work and be on time at 10 a.m.; especially since we left the house at 7:55. There was no way I was going to make it. But after I dropped my son off and headed back north on I25, it was if time stood still for a few minutes allowing me to arrive back home with plenty of time to shower, pack my lunch and drive to Arvada. I was amazed, but not surprised that the intervention of the Holy Spirit allowed me to accomplish my morning task. Other times I find the intervention of the Holy Spirit in my life at work, keeping me out of harm’s way when the big busy calls come into the dispatch center. Just as I leave for my break the calls explode and all is quiet upon my return after my break. I truly believe that I am blessed by the Holy Spirit as He gives me what I can handle and helps me in my daily life. I am so awaiting the eternal Kingdom, and I know that if the Holy Spirit is here on earth, He is surely in Heaven.
I too have found that I cannot be angry when I look at their face. Is this what they mean when they tell us to see the face of Christ in everyone we meet? Oh, that I would pause long enough to see ever time. Thank you for your insight.