Homily – November 21, 2021

Standing before a corrupt politician, dressed in mock purple, wearing a painful crown of thorns, weakened by his scourging, Pilate asks Jesus, ‘are you the king of the Jews. Jesus does not deny the title’ ’King’ but wants nothing to do with the reality of kingship of his time, ‘my kingdom is not off this world.’

Basically Jesus is saying to Pilate I am not tolerating this phony trial. I am here to bear witness to the truth.

Pilate asks Jesus, ‘what is truth’ but is really not interested in an answer.

Truth for Jesus was that every person has his/her own dignity before God. That’s why he praised the Samaritan people, who were despised by the Jews. That’s why Jesus ate with publicans and sinners, the despised outcasts of society. That’s why Jesus embraced prostitutes and lepers, despised by the social snobbery of the time… That’s why Jesus spent time with and preached to the crowds hungry for words of understanding as to how difficult their lives were; bearing witness to the truth that they were of value, they are loved by God, and they are loved by Jesus.

Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.

You’ve probably heard the saying,’ denial ain’t just a river in Egypt’. How many truths, how many realities are we denying, refusing to face the truth of our time?

How about these truths?

The embarrassing truth that our church made a terrible mistake when we teamed up with the federal government to get the Indian out of the child and staffed residential schools.

The frightening truth of global warming and climate change and our challenge to live lightly on the earth.

The embarrassing truth of the unjust and unfair distribution of earth’s wealth and resources.

The shameful truth of the racism and bigotry that pervades our communities and education systems.

The distressful truth of unaffordable housing and the homelessness that is part and parcel of our social network.

Christ our King said that everyone who belongs, admits and accept the uncomfortable truths of their times listen to his voice and works to undo the wrongs of their times.

You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free. Admitting the truth of the reality of the injustices with which live, the racism and bigotry with which we live, the consumerism and wastefulness of our lifestyles may God give us the freedom to live our lives as faithful followers of the Christ we honor as our King.