Greetings to all,
Today is the last Sunday in the Church’s liturgical year, the Feast of Christ the King. Interestingly, the Church has chosen rather a strange gospel passage to celebrate the kingship of Christ. It is the scene of Jesus at his trial before Pilate, a handcuffed prisoner, who was facing death by crucifixion.
Yet, in the dialogue with Pilate, Jesus does speak of His kingdom, and declares to Pilate, ‘Yes, I am a King’. He then further explains the way He exercises his kingship by bearing witness to the truth. Earlier in John’s gospel, Jesus had also said, ‘I am the truth’. Jesus is the truth, he witnesses to the truth, in the sense that he reveals the truth about God; he shows us who God is, what God is like.
The truth to which Jesus’ witness is the truth of God’s enduring love for the world, for each one of us. He does this by laying down his life for whom he loves. As today’s second reading, the book of Apocalypse, says beautifully that Christ ‘loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood’.
This is the truth to which Jesus witnesses; and he does this by his life, and especially by his death. Then what does that mean for those of us who claim to be his followers?
The answer to that question lies in Jesus’ final words to Pilate in our gospel reading, ‘all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice’. ‘Those who listen to his voice’, his disciples, are to be on the side of truth and on the side of love.
We show ourselves to be the Lord’s disciples by being truthful as Jesus was truthful, by loving as Jesus loved. Truth and love are two facets of God. When we are truthful and loving people we show ourselves to be people of God, revealers of God as Jesus was, powerful in the way he was.
I love the words of St Paul, as he reminds the community of Ephesians, he says: “Speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ”. Because Christ was the perfect expression of truth and love, whenever we live truthful and loving lives we grow up into Christ.
This fundamentally is a call to each and every one of us, followers of Christ. We need to grow up into Him every day by engaging our entire lives to be on the side of truth and love. This is our call, our commitment and our lives.
Today at our OLR church, we witness seven RCIA candidates who have listened to Jesus’ voice, and courageously accept the invitation of Jesus to follow the path of truth and the path of love. As we welcome them into our community, let us also be reminded of our calling to always bear witness to the way of truth and love that Jesus embodied.
Congratulations and welcome to Paul Howard, Brendon Reynolds,
Deanna Reynolds, Emily Noyes, Sara Gowing, Stephanie Rees,