What have you done?
As we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, we hear Pilate questioning Jesus as to his identity and the details of his kingdom. Poor Pilate! He, a functionary of the Roman Empire is trying to grapple with a concept of kingdom that has nothing to do with power, territory, armies, etc. He finally asks Jesus “What have you done?” He needs to understand the charges so he can pass judgement.
As we reflect on the Word, Jesus lets his life and ministry answer the question for us. Indeed, what has he done? He healed the sick, forgave sinners, welcomed the outcast, ate with sinners, fed the crowds, cared for each person he encountered and, in everything he expressed the inexpressible love of God for all of God’s creation. This was his vocation as Messiah; this was the kingdom that he built. It was a kingdom founded on and rooted in God’s love that was open to welcome all who heard Jesus’ invitation and responded.
As we come to the end of the liturgical year, it is an opportune moment for us to pause and ask ourselves “What have I done?” Have I responded to Jesus’ invitation to discipleship by doing what he has done – sharing the bounty of God’s love with each person that I have met along the road? My actions won’t be identical to those of Jesus in the Gospel but they ought to reflect the same care, respect and love for each person. I may have had plenty of opportunity to feed the hungry, but I know that I have never met a leper and therefore have never healed one. One of the Eucharistic Prayers for Various Needs speaks of Jesus “going about doing good” and that is what we are called to do as disciples of Jesus. The Gospel invites us, not to ask if Jesus is a king, but to ask myself if he is my king, and to further ask if I follow him with my whole heart. Those are the essential questions for each disciple and they call us to ongoing conversion of heart and mind to live more fully the call the discipleship in whatever way is given to each one.
By Richard Beaudette, OMI