A Reflection on the Solemnity of Christ the King
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November 21, 2021
Revelation 1:5-8; John 18:33-37
Jesus was fully human and fully divine and we make a mistake when we think he was one and not the other—usually that he was just divine.
We are fully human and partly divine and we make a mistake when we think we are one and not the other—usually that we are divine.
All our problems and struggles come from the assumption of our own divinity. We think we are in charge. We think we are in control. We think we are the king.
Jesus isn’t divine in spite of his humanity. He doesn’t have to escape his humanity in order to become divine. His humanity and divinity so intersect we can’t separate one from the other.
Jesus tells Pilate in today’s gospel that his kingdom “is not of this world,” and it isn’t. And it is. He is the king of all creation, the first born of the dead. He could call down all the armies of the angels. But he doesn’t. He is the Alpha and the Omega, through him and in him all things were made, and yet there he stands, in his body, on that cold marble floor, as Pilate sentences him to death.
He is not a king in the way we understand kings. He is not divine in the way we understand divinity.
Lately in prayer I’ve really been struggling with distractions. My thoughts are all over the place, and they’re mythoughts, about my plans and my projects. It’s as if the conversation between Pilate and Jesus is going on in my head, and Pilate is winning.
I want to be the king of my own mind, I want to be my own master, and yet I can’t even manage that.
But I take solace in the thought that Jesus must have been distracted, too. When he woke up in the morning and sat down to pray, he must have found himself thinking about all kinds of things. He must have struggled as we all do to let go and be in the moment.
I don’t mean that he sinned, because he was without sin.
But being distracted isn’t sinful. It’s human. It’s the way we are.
What I imagine is that when Jesus was praying and his mind began to wander, he did what he calls us to do.
He smiled, he opened his hands, and he said, “here I am, Lord. I come to do your will.”