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Feast of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (B)

Where is your kingdom? JOHN 18:33–37

By Dr René Jerome Wihby

This Sunday we celebrate the kingship of Jesus with the Solemnity of Christ the King, which was introduced by Pope Pius XI in 1925. Pope Pius XI wrote in an encyclical called Quas Primus that we must make Christ king in every aspect of our life.

This solemnity ends liturgical year B. Although Year B was dedicated to reading Mark’s gospel, today’s text is taken from John’s gospel.

The Jews believed that the messiah would be a descendant from the same pedigree as King David who would save them from persecution. Jesus, however, did not possess an earthly throne, a sceptre of power, a sword nor a crown. Instead, the only crown Jesus wore was a crown of thorns that the Roman soldiers used to mock His Kingship.

Jesus paid the ultimate price for us (crucifixion) and reigned from the Cross. This concept was rejected by the Jews since their perception of a king was incongruent with someone who willingly accepted death on the cross.

Today’s gospel presents a discourse between Jesus and Pilate. When Pilate asked Jesus if He was a king, Jesus neither confirmed nor denied it. However, Jesus spoke with authority like a king.

Eventually, Jesus declared that His Kingdom was “not a kingdom of this world” (Jn 18:36). Jesus and Pilate held different concepts of kingship. While Pilate exercised political, military, and economic power, Jesus’ authority did not subjugate others.

As an alternative, Jesus’ Kingdom requires us to detach from earthly or material things. Although we live in this world, we are not called to be part of it. Our focus should not be on worldly cares such as power, wealth, and position. Instead, like Jesus we must hunger and thirst for justice. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Mt 5:6). Therefore, Jesus’ Kingdom is “primarily spiritual and applicable to spiritual things” (Pope Pius XI).

Where is your kingdom? Is it your home, family, wealth, qualifications, or job? Nothing is wrong with these things. However, we should not allow them to become idols in our lives.

Jesus wanted Pilate to understand that His power was greater than any political leader and it cannot be “achieved by human means” (Pope Francis). Jesus’ Kingdom is different from earthly kingdoms.

As a result, Jesus does not want to be a political head like King David. He was never interested in forming a government nor an army because Jesus’ authority was an authority of truth. Jesus came to show us how to love and to be witnesses to the truth. How can we be witnesses to the truth?

Unfortunately, Pilate’s dismissive attitude towards Jesus prevented him from seeing that “the truth” stood right before him. “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6).

If we listen carefully to Jesus’ voice, we will belong to the truth, and He will welcome us in His Kingdom. The truth is that Jesus, Son of God, was crucified on a cross. This cross is salvific by virtue of Jesus’ Resurrection because He was victorious over death.



Lord Jesus, we ask You to be King in our lives. Help us to detach from material things and seek only You. Give us the grace to hunger and thirst for justice so that we can be witnesses to Your truth.


The Gospel Meditations for November are by Dr René Jerome Wihby, a Dean at Presentation College, Chaguanas. He is a parishioner of St Paul’s Parish, Couva.