On Sunday, the feast of Christ the King, the Gospel presented the encounter between Jesus and Pontius Pilate, between King of Kings, Son and Servant of God the Father, and the Prefect governing on behalf of the Emperor of Rome.
The relics of Pilate are few and far between. The one extant contemporary record of his existence is a carving reproduced above of his name on a building in Caesarea Maritima, on the Mediterranean costs, recording this building (now lost) been constructed in honour of Caesar (himself also lost?)
Of course the direct relics of Jesus are maybe even rarer (purported venerated foreskins not-withstanding). And Church, like Empire, is often evidenced in its ruins.
Yet Christ has no need of relics, for he is risen and lives, is personally present to Church and world, in Church and aspects of world caught up in him and made sacrament of his presence. In these those with eyes to see and ears to hear are drawn into ever-new Communion with him
‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ Pilate asked.
Jesus replied, ‘Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?’
Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?’
Jesus replied, ‘Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.’
‘So you are a king then?’ said Pilate.
‘It is you who say it’ answered Jesus. ‘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.’
- How do you most regularly find yourself invited to deeper communion with Christ?
- What in your life is passing, and what enduring? What difference does distinguishing between the two make, on a day to day basis?
- Bring your thoughts and feelings to the Lord in reflection and then in prayer.
Images from Caesarea Maritima. (c) 2007, Allen Morris.