Homily – November 25, 2018

At this Mass we celebrate the culmination of our church year. We sum up the year with the proclamation that Jesus Christ is King. Jesus reigns over a kingdom of truth and love, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice love and peace.

Our gospel shows us Jesus the king of the Jews. He has been whipped and beaten; his face is dirtied by the spittle of the soldiers. He wears the purple robe of his mocked royalty. His crown of thorns is another gesture of the contempt the authorities had for him.

When Pilate asked Jesus is he was the king of the Jews he did not deny it but he went beyond any political claim. Jesus answers Pilate, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. For this was I born, for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.’ Roger Bacon wrote an essay on truth. It began with the words, ‘what is truth asked jesting Pilate and he did not wait for an answer.’ What is truth? A good question for our times.

Where do we find truth today? Certainly not in certain politicians. Every day we hear bold face lies, campaign promises are forgotten and we are inundated with ‘alternative facts.’ Scientific facts that warn us of the reality of climate change and its consequences are ignored. Our church leaders have been caught in the cover-up of the sexual and criminal abuse of minors.

Jesus, our king spoke truth to power. He placed himself on the side of the little people of his time, people who had no power and were oppressed by those who had; the military, the land owners, the tax collectors and the religious law keepers.

In what Jesus preached and the way he made himself present to ordinary people he manifested the presence, the love and the mercy of God to the forgotten of his time. Through his Father’s presence working through him Jesus could say, ‘go in peace your sins are forgiven’, he could say,’of course I want to, be made clean, receive your sight, get up and walk.’ Jesus gave hope to the little people assuring them, ‘you are of more value than sparrows, the very hairs of your head are numbered, and the Father knows what you need even before you ask. In other words, you are known, you are loved despite what those in authority may tell you.

Jesus spoke truth to power, especially the power of the Temple. That is what brought him to how we see him in today’s gospel. For this I was born, for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.

Jesus told Pilate, everyone who belongs to the truth hears my voice. What did Jesus teach us? ‘Love one another as I have loved you. Welcome into your life, into your neighbourhood men and women and children of any racial background, any faith, any lifestyle. Forgive as I’ve forgiven you, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless. As often as you these things to others, you do them to me. Do we belong to the truth? Do we hear the voice of our humiliated king?

God give is the grace to hear the voice of our king’s voice and live and love as he calls us to do.