20151122 - The Solemnity Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

posted Nov 16, 2015, 9:29 PM by Domain Admin   [ updated Sep 9, 2016, 9:35 PM ]

Gospel of John 18:33b-37

Ali's Reflection

Have you ever been questioned about who you are or who you are supposed to be? This is the question that comes to mind when I reflect on Pilate’s interrogation of Jesus in this week’s Gospel.

Sometimes we are challenged by others to prove ourselves to them—about who we are and what we are capable of—which can often cast some sense of doubt in ourselves. I see Jesus challenging this notion and even responding in a way that demonstrates that he really has nothing to prove to Pilate. Jesus shows casts all that doubt aside and challenges back by responding to Pilate that his kingdom is not of this world. That his kingdom exists “in truth and those who listen to his voice”. He assures him that, though they are labeling him as a king on this earth, his true kingdom is in heaven.

Whether it’s our coaches, teachers, parents, or even our closest friends, we can sometimes feel like we need to own up to a certain way of being, in order to please others, prove ourselves to them or even gain their approval. I can recall countless times growing up, and especially entering into college, how I felt the pressure from my parents and others, including myself, to succeed in school so that I can become whoever they hoped to see me become—a doctor, a computer engineer, an architect. Unfortunately, I cracked under that pressure and fell off track academically, in my early years of college, and I did not become any of those things. It wasn’t until much later, that I came to realize how much I had to accept what others were telling me but not give in. More importantly, I knew that I didn’t have to live up to expectations but ultimately do what I believed to be right for myself.

Jesus is a king unlike any other and shows us that it isn’t necessary to place ourselves high on a pedestal for the sake of others. Instead, by owning and accepting ourselves for who we are and what we really stand for, we more able to realize our true greatness. The throne we sit on is one with a King who loves and cares for His people and who expects us to do the same. Jesus modeled being a King for us in this way, and so we follow suit. Jesus, as our King, is our origin and the only proof we need to show others why we are who we are.

We find the truth about ourselves by listening to the love of God, by listening to others and understanding where we came from. I realized truth about myself after much reflection and prayers, and in doing so, I discovered that my calling and what I believed to be right for me was to become a social worker, which is how I currently devote my energy and gifts for helping others and one way I live out my service in God’s kingdom.

Kristenne's Reflection

This Sunday we celebrate Jesus Christ the King. It's strange to think back then, people ridiculed Jesus because he didn't come as the king they thought of. Someone who would rule the kingdom and persecute those who got in the way. A leader that would be on top and would compete with others.

But Jesus came as a different kind of leader. He showed us that we don't need to be against each other. We don't need to prove ourselves to others who doubt us because God made us who we are.

As we go about our days, we will be judged and we too will judge because we are all human. I think it is how we act on those judgments that decide whether or not we are fulfilling our responsibilities as Catholics.

Growing up, my parents had a habit of comparing me to other kids. “Why are you not like so and so…” was something I heard very often. It really pushed me to prove them wrong and I did everything to try and please them. Through all the hard work and missing out on hanging out with friends, I surprisingly found myself accepted into one of the top universities, UC Berkeley. While I was proud of myself, I was not happy and I felt empty. When I finally graduated I thought I finally proved to them I was worthy. I looked for their approval, only to see that I didn’t have it. On my graduation day, my dad said, “That’s good, but now you have to find a job.” And when I did, it still wasn’t good enough.

The times where I felt the most right with myself was when I was in Emmaus as a youth leader. Even then my parents questioned me, but I felt whole. We can spend our lives trying to prove to others that we are worthy, but God already knows that we are. He made us in his image.

And more so when we use the example of Jesus being a different kind of King, one who takes care of the weak and the powerless, we can become better people in this world.