When Christ the King was brought before Pontius Pilate, the Romans were running a European superstate which they called their ‘Empire’. Roman laws and Roman taxes were enforced by a well-organised network of local administrators, backed up by a powerful military and political machine.
For Pontius Pilate, the administrator of Judea, ‘kingship’ meant simply the sort of power you wield if you have an army lined-up behind you. The strange young rabbi from Nazareth apparently had no such power. To Pilate, our Lord must have seemed like a pathetic religious fanatic with nothing to back-up His fanciful claims.
Christ’s answers to Pilate’s questions were strangely evasive. He equivocates over the title ‘King of the Jews’. He tells Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.” When Pilate presses the point, “So you are a king, then?” the Lord responds “You say so. Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.”
The Kingdom of Christ has no geographical or political borders, but it does have one single currency, and that currency is Truth. All other virtues – holiness, justice, love and peace – proceed from that one Truth which is Christ the Lord. Pilate asked his cynical question “What is truth?” but did not wait for the answer.
Christ’s Kingdom is boundless, its splendour indescribable, but not beyond our grasp. Invisible yet solid evidence of the King’s presence and sway is all around us. Wherever justice, love and peace are found, the moral structure of the Kingdom is partially disclosed.
One day that invisible Kingdom will be revealed unambiguously. The shadows and half-truths which characterize the tin-pot kingdoms and petty regional enclaves of this world will be replaced by something real – Christ’s everlasting Kingdom of holiness and grace, a Kingdom of justice, love, and peace.
Lord Jesus Christ, I worship Thee as the true King of all peoples and all nations. To Thee my King I now renew my baptismal promises, renouncing Satan and all his works, and all his empty promises. I promise henceforward to do all within my power to live the Catholic faith in its fulness, to pray for the triumph of Thy divine prerogatives, and to work for the liberty and safety of all Thy Christian children, especially those who even now are so cruelly persecuted and martyred. I beseech Thee that all mankind may come to know and worship Thy royal sovereignty, and that Thy reign of true peace and true justice may everywhere be established throughout the world, today and for ever. Amen.