WelCom November 2020
Fr James Lyons
When Jesus told Pilate he’d come to bear witness to the truth, he knew he’d sealed his fate. Pilate’s response, What is truth? is the response of a person whose mind is wearied from alternatives and compromise and closed to the possibility of finding the key to a completely satisfying life.
Peter, Martha and the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well, were among the first to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ of God – the Chosen One sent to help us discover the truth about ourselves.
That truth, that we are loved unconditionally by the God of all creation who wants only our love in return, is perhaps the hardest for us humans to accept.
We are more conditioned to awareness of weakness in ourselves, and especially in others, than to the beauty and uniqueness that makes each of us so special and lovable.
“The tradition of honouring Christ as King is not for the purpose of championing Jesus as an all-powerful conqueror and ruler, controlling and threatening, but rather to acclaim him for opening the world to receive a new vision of justice, love and peace.”
The tradition of honouring Christ as King is not for the purpose of championing Jesus as an all-powerful conqueror and ruler, controlling and threatening, but rather to acclaim him for opening the world to receive a new vision of justice, love and peace.
His manifesto is The Beatitudes [Matthew 5:1-11] where we are given life-giving promises that are fulfilled through service, mercy, compassion and forgiveness.
This is the truth that sets us free and empowers us to be part of the reign of God.
The healing ministry of Jesus was all about helping people to feel good about themselves. When a person feels loved, she or he is more able to be loving.
It then becomes easier, despite failings, to accept others, to be forgiving and tolerant, to understand and even welcome differences.
This is the truth Jesus came to witness. Pilate’s cynical response is typical of those who refuse to recognise weakness in themselves and therefore cannot accept it in others.
The Church’s year ends with the festival of Christ the King. It is surely a signal for thanksgiving, while readying ourselves for a new cycle of waiting, listening, learning and responding.
Fr James Lyons is a Wellington priest.
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, is Sunday 22 November, 2020.