Behold, your King!

Tomorrow, Sunday, we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. In the Gospel we read the fascinating story of the trial of Jesus by Pilate. It is indeed the story of the trial of truth. It is the story of a throng moved to blindness by passion. Amongst the throng there is one who stands out as having the greatness to recognize the stature and the innocence of Jesus. This is Pilate. He first tries to evade his dilemma by compromise. He tries to have Jesus released using the Jewish custom of releasing a prisoner on the festival day. But the people called out for the release of Barabbas, a thief and a murderer. What an irony! Then Pilate had Jesus scourged but the crowd still cried out, “Crucify him, Crucify him!” Then they put some more pressure on Pilate. “If you release this man you are not a friend of Caesar’s.” The reports going to Rome, they said in effect, might not be good and Pilate may not find himself retiring with the accustomed promotion in rank.

In the trial of Jesus, when Pilate asks him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” there is a shifting of roles. It is Pilate and his capacity to live the truth that is brought into trial. Jesus said “I came into the world for this; to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.” Pilate was condemned when he failed to listen to the voice of truth.

To have Christ as our King is to follow the way of truth and it is often a heroic way to follow.

The wisdom of the East has always taught that one cannot be silent and continue to be dishonest at the same time. One can say prayers, and worship and sing, and drown out the voice of conscience. But in silence honesty shouts. This is one of the reasons why meditation is not a popular kind of prayer. It is too threatening. It puts us on the spot like the innocence of Jesus put Pilate on the spot and made him judge himself. Silent meditation is a way of prayer for those who have the courage to follow the King of Truth.

Note: In the Novus Ordo, this Feast was moved from the last Sunday in October to the last Sunday of the Season after Pentecost, which is the Sunday before Advent Sunday. The effect of this is to interrupt the relationship between the reign of Christ with His Saints, who are commemorated en masse on 1 November, and the necessity of our recognizing His Kingship now, during this “thousand years” of the Church Age. With the Feast moved to the very last Sunday in the Time After Pentecost (which, this year, is tomorrow), unfortunately it leads one to believe that Christ isn’t King now, and that all persons and nations don’t need to recognize Him as King now — but that He will be recognized as King only at the end of time when He reveals Himself at His Second Advent. In other words, the moving of the Feast symbolically defeats the very purpose of the Feast, which is to not only honor the very fact of His Kingship, but to pray for the conversion of all people and nations to His Church so that souls will be saved and the social order will conform to the moral law.


23 Responses to “Behold, your King!”

  1. 1 Victor S E Moubarak November 21, 2009 at 15:38

    He wasn’t recognised as King then; by Pilate and by many who shouted for His Crucifixion.

    The sad tragedy is that many today still do not recognise Him as King, as the Son of God, and as our Saviour Lord.

    They can’t deny His existance. So they say He was a teacher, a good man, a prophet … anything but the Son of God.

    I recall Christ asked His disciples who they thought He was. Only Peter was inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak out the truth.

    May we, like him, never fear to do the same.

    • 2 Elizabeth Peterson August 7, 2014 at 00:04

      I copied the clipart of the crown to put in a Latin workbook I am writing an hope to one day publish. Is this your original clipart? I need to know whom I need to get permission from to use it in my workbook.

  2. 3 Louisa November 21, 2009 at 15:51

    Thank you Gabriella.
    Goodmorning to all – I mean, it’s morning here in Canada 🙂

    You are right, Victor. In fact, Pope Pius XI hoped the institution of the feast would have various effects.

    They were:

    1. That nations would see that the Church has the right to freedom, and immunity from the state (Quas Primas, 32).
    2. That leaders and nations would see that they are bound to give respect to Christ (Quas Primas, 31).
    3. That the faithful would gain strength and courage from the celebration of the feast, as we are reminded that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies (Quas Primas, 33).

    Today, the same distrust of authority exists, although the problem has gotten worse. Individualism has been embraced to such an extreme, that for many, the only authority is the individual self. The idea of Christ as ruler is rejected in such a strongly individualistic system. Also, many balk at the idea of kings and queens, believing them to be oppressive. Some even reject the titles of “lord” and “king” for Christ because they believe that such titles are borrowed from oppressive systems of government. However true these statements might be (some kings have been oppressive), these individuals miss the point: Christ’s kingship is one of humility and service. Jesus said:

    You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to become great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:42-45).


    Pilate said to Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?”… Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world,to testify to the truth (John 18:33).

  3. 4 anne bender November 21, 2009 at 17:44

    A picture is truly worth a thousand words. My heart breaks when I look at the one on your post. It is the most achingly beautiful face ever. How can I not cry out “My Lord and My God”!

  4. 5 Kaede Sachi November 21, 2009 at 18:00

    It’s very early Sunday morning for me here in Japan 🙂

    So, Jesus is KING, but in no sense this world understands. And the question arises: What does Jesus’ Kingship mean to us 21st century, ‘sophisticated’, ‘democratic’ people who have probably never even seen a king, and who no longer use the language of kingship and kingdom?

    Anne, what a beautiful comment!
    I join you in exclaiming: “MY LORD AND MY GOD”!

  5. 6 Andrea November 21, 2009 at 18:01

    Sia lode a DIO! Re e centro di tutto l’universo. Altro che alessandro magno

  6. 7 ginny November 21, 2009 at 21:44

    I only wish that today people would recognize who the “King” really is. I like the picture you posted..He is the King of kings, Lord of lords, God Almighty!

  7. 8 Mary Nicewarner November 22, 2009 at 03:57

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I often meditate on Jesus standing before Pilate and Pilate saying,”What is truth?” He failed to recognize it standing right in front of Him. My thoughts are Anne’s thoughts, it is the most beautiful face I have ever seen… this face that suffered so for love of us.

  8. 9 Roland November 22, 2009 at 06:50

    Nevertheless, it is You, -followers of the schizophrenic, flunked-out Pharisaic ‘student’ and temple thug, otherwise known as Saul of Tarsus, aka the Apostle and eventual Saint, -who fails to ‘Behold your King’ i. e. Jesus [Barabbas].

    “Jesus Barabbas”, -written in the original Greek Gospel according or attributed to Matthew (27:17), -and, that His name (Jesus) was omitted from the Latin translation (around 390 c. e.) and most of the subsequent translations thereafter… leaving us (latter-day people) with only ‘Barabbas’ instead.

    ‘Barabbas’ is not a proper name or surname (any more so than is “Christ), -it is, rather, an Aramaic appellation, the meaning of which is: Bar = Son + Abba = Father (as in the ‘Father of us all’ or ‘God’, if you will).

    Think You that the Jews (and Pilate), ‘in those days’, did not know (the) ‘Son of God’s’ name???

    You ‘believe’, instead, Saul of Tarsus.

    It might do you well to know him in whom you put your ‘faith’, -Saul of Tarsus …

    Briefly, Saul of Tarsus is the namesake and descendant of the very first ‘anointed’ King of the Jews. King Saul, eventually, was rebuked by the Lord -for failing to obey the Lord’s commandment to anathematize Agag. King Saul retained his military position… and “fell upon his own sword” (ostensibly to avoid being captured by the Philistines). This sinful and cowardly act, brought everlasting dishonor and shame to his heirs and descendants, -not to mention banning his heirs and descendants from ascending the royal throne of the Jews ever again.

    King Saul was replaced by the ‘anointment’ of David. David was succeeded by his son Solomon. Solomon was succeeded by his son Rehoboam… but, ten tribes revolted against Rehoboam and the heretofore ‘theocracy’ of his predecessors… and established a parallel secular government, -headed by Jeroboam.

    The House or tribe of Judah was marginalized.

    That schism among the Jews continued down through the centuries… into the days of the Roman installed and supported Herod, -an Idumean and ‘convert Jew’.

    Enter ‘the descendant of David and Jewish messiah’, -Judas the Galilean, -riding into Jerusalem on an ass…

    Think You that Saul/Paul might have been unmindful, as his pretends no interests in the man who claimed to be the ‘messiah-king’?

    It is no wonder Islam arose… amidst the fertile grounds of an ignorant people.

    If You are going to yet again give us the ‘Good News’ and let not the Facts get in the way… it would behoove you to Know what the ‘Good News’ is before you begin.

    Roland, -a reluctant iconoclast.

    p.s. ‘Teach love, use words only when necessary’.

  9. 11 Korrigan November 22, 2009 at 09:19

    What rubbish, Roland!!!!!

    In this particular case we believe John the apostle who actually lived with Jesus of Nazareth!!!!!

    We know that Barabbas’ first name was also Jesus:

    (Matthew 27:11-26 (New Revised Standard) Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, Are you the King of the Jews? Jesus said, You say so. But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him, Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you? But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah? For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him. Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them, Which of the two do you want me to release for you? And they said, Barabbas. Pilate said to them, Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah? All of them said, Let him be crucified! Then he asked, Why, what evil has he done? But they shouted all the more, Let him be crucified! So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves. Then the people as a whole answered, His blood be on us and on our children! So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified).

    We all know that not only was Barabbas’s first name Jesus, but his last name, Barabbas, means son (bar) of the father (abba). Jesus had always referred to himself as the Son of the Father (and his adversaries had always refused to acknowledge that he was). So now we had two men named Jesus, each a “son of the father”, but opposite fathers. Jesus was an innocent man about to murdered, and Barabbas was a murderer about to be set free. During an incident prior to this day, Jesus, when he knew that they sought to kill him, made this statement to them:

    John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.

    It would seem then, that by this coincidence, their choice between God and the devil was being reflected back at them in a magnified way.

    And please do NOT tell Gabriella (a really good theologian she is) to ‘Teach love, use words only when necessary’, tell yourself! Do NOT use words to spread such rubbish!!!!!

  10. 12 david pierini November 22, 2009 at 10:02

    I hated my wife, I was inflamed with anger with my children
    and shocked with many of my brothers because they fall in love with God.
    If the witness with such zeal in this house
    I had been made in the hour of darkness
    I would like a dawn lit
    and full of joy I would follow the Lord.
    You came to bring fire on earth …
    I have inflamed the heart to inflame the hearts.
    You are the author of life, the conqueror of death,
    the source of love.
    How not to love you above all things!
    How not to love you against everything!

  11. 13 Shania November 22, 2009 at 10:45

    Beautiful words, David, a super prayer 🙂

    You are the author of life, the conqueror of death,
    the source of love.
    How not to love you above all things!


  12. 14 Cinzia November 22, 2009 at 11:51

    Roland – what utter rubbish …..

    Do us all a favour and go and learn the true scriptures before attempting to look intelligent with all the complicated phrases that in the end make no sense whatsoever.

    Today, Feast of Christ the King, I remember the beginning of a beautiful hymn in His honour:

    Hail Redeemer King Divine
    Priest and Lamb, the throne is thine
    King whose reign will never cease
    Prince of everlasting Peace …

    Thanks to Gabriella and all the regular commenter for their fantastic posts and inputs, their undying love for Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, their deep and beautiful faith and their solid knowledge of theology and the scriptures.

    I am blessed to have found this blog which is a true inspiration to me and a great place to improve my religious education and increase my own love for God and for his one true Church.

  13. 15 Ruben Vidal November 22, 2009 at 13:43

    Violencia, dinero, mero placer: fuerzas del reino de este mundo, pero lejos de las aspiraciones del hombre, que en cambio pueden colmar el Reino de Dios, porque es verdad y vida. Es la esencia de la Solemnidad de hoy, Jesucristo, Rey del Universo!

  14. 16 Daily Grace November 22, 2009 at 15:59


    I was so looking forward to your post today on Christ the King. It was truely wonderful.

    You are one that “testifies to the truth”.I pray that we may all have the courage to follow the King of Truth

    Thank you

  15. 17 Pablo H. November 22, 2009 at 17:44

    Pilate,listened to his wife, Claudia.

    All that he asked Christ was inspired by this good woman who counseled her husband to not condemn an innocent man.

    Through her act of Charity, giving the holy mother linens to gather her Son’s blood, she converted and became Catholic.

    Her husband, Pilate,threw himself into the river and drowned.

    Us men have dominion; women have Faith.

    God bless holy women.

  16. 18 Rachel M November 22, 2009 at 18:45

    I was especially struck by what you wrote saying: “One can say prayers, and worship and sing, and drown out the voice of conscience. But in silence honesty shouts.”

    I have found this to be utterly true. I was once an Evangelical Protestant. The worship services and prayer services are generally very loud. I called it a “pep rally” that would get everyone all emotionally charged. But I found myself left hungry. Hungry for the Holiness of God and His still, small voice which is heard only when I am still and silent. Once I found my way to my much-loved Catholic Church, I found what I had been missing. I found the reverence, the desire of people to simply sit in meditative silence and Adoration.

  17. 19 Hernan November 22, 2009 at 19:55

    Gabriela’s Blog … siempre de mejor en mejor!

    Mil gracias y recibe un cordial saludo.

  18. 20 Cinzia November 22, 2009 at 22:02

    The Spanish language is slowly but surely “infiltrating” Gabriella’s blog ….. wonderful!

    I can’t understand every word, but it all sounds extraordinarily beautiful to me.

    On behalf of Gabriella I say: welcome the Spanish contingent. 🙂

  19. 21 churchmouse November 22, 2009 at 22:09

    Hello, Gabriella — Thank you for another Spirit-filled post, so beautifully written, a good message for today and the week ahead. Thank you also for clarifying the rearrangement of this feast in the Catholic calendar — much appreciated.

    May God bless you always.

  20. 22 Asmarina November 23, 2009 at 07:34

    Christ is Our King
    let the whole world rejoice
    May all the Nations
    sing out with one voice
    Light of the world
    You have helped us to see
    that all men are brothers
    and all men one day will be free.

    Christ is King of Creation
    King of the Universe
    King of MY heart
    King of all Kings


  21. 23 michael November 24, 2009 at 15:57

    Very nice post. I always think about that conversation between Pilate and Jesus. How was each word stressed? What were their facial expressions? Who else was listening in?

    As you have pointed out, there is certainly a lot of irony throughout.

    Our priest told us this weekend, that he thought the reason Jesus was so silent throughout Pilate’s questioning was because he knew His definition of King was different than Pilate’s … and he really couldnt answer it the way it was asked. I had never heard that explanation before …

    God Bless!

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