Today is the Feast of Christ the King. This Sunday marks the end of the liturgical year in the Catholic Church. Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the new liturgical year.
As Christmas preparations begin, we are reminded in this week’s Gospel of Jesus’s conversation with Pontius Pilate in the days leading up to his death. Pilate is confused as to why Jesus’s “own nation” handed him over to be executed. If he was truly a “king,” what did he do to have his own people betray him? When Pilate asks Jesus if he is a king, Jesus responds with, “you are saying that I am a king… my kingdom is not of this world.” His kingdom is far greater than anything we could conceptualize on Earth.
This exchange with Pilate is significant because it discusses what it means to be a king. The people claimed that Jesus was a great king of Earth, which they saw as a threat. Jesus wasn’t a king in the way that we think of kings of Earth: he doesn’t own land, he doesn’t have material wealth, he doesn’t run a physical kingdom.
We hear about this great King and this Earth-transcending Kingdom of God; and then, in a few weeks, we see this King as a baby. Not a powerful and mighty king, but a small, weak, human baby. God sent his son to Earth, not to rule over them, but to be in community with His people. He sent Jesus in the form of a human to connect His people together. I see this as proof that great things can come from the smallest unexpected places.
This Advent season I invite you to reflect on those unexpected moments that have led to great things. I invite you to see Jesus in the small, seemingly insignificant, moments and trust that by following and believing in Him, greater things will happen.
May your holiday season be filled with community, love, and hope. Amen.