What kind of king is Jesus?

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Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Year B: Nov. 25, 2012
Dan 7:13-14; Ps 93; Rev 1:5-8; John 18:33-37

In our Gospel reading today, it is the morning of Good Friday. Jesus had been captured and questioned during the night by the Jewish authorities—but, because they are not authorized to carry out the death penalty, they have brought him to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, seeking his execution. And so we hear Pilate’s initial questioning of Jesus.

He begins by asking, “Are you the king of the Jews?” And do you notice that Jesus does not answer this question directly? Instead, he asks Pilate a question: “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” Who is questioning, and who is being questioned, has been reversed. Now it is Jesus examining Pilate: his heart, his thoughts, his intentions, his identity. How ready is Pilate to accept Jesus as king? (more…)

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Walking with Jesus in consistency and hope

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25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Sept. 23, 2012
Wis 2:12, 17-20; Ps 54; James 3:16–4:3; Mark 9:30-37

This is embarrassing! These disciples of Jesus: they follow him, travel with him, see everything he does, hear everything he says. They do so because they have been so impressed by him and want to learn from his teaching and follow his way. And yet, look at them in this reading! They don’t understand what he tells them about his coming death and resurrection, and yet they are afraid to ask him to explain it. And on their journey they are arguing about which of them is the greatest—which is so very foreign to everything that Jesus is about.

How is this possible? How can the disciples believe in him and love him and follow him and listen to him—and yet seemingly be walking a completely different path from him? (more…)