Taste and See: The lasting good

Pilate 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.

Caesarea MaritimaYet 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.’

John 18:33-37

  • 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.

Speak Lord: ‘Believe everything you heard!’

Caesarea 2007

The first reading this Sunday comes from the Acts of the Apostles – the source of our First Readings on Sundays and weekdays throughout the coming season of Easter.

This narrative tells the story of the early Church forming and developing in the first days, weeks and years after the Resurrection. It tells of our story and our mission  – and of the Good News we bear.

Peter addressed Cornelius and his household: ‘You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judaea; about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil. Now I, and those with me, can witness to everything he did throughout the countryside of Judaea and in Jerusalem itself: and also to the fact that they killed him by hanging him on a tree, yet three days afterwards God raised him to life and allowed him to be seen, not by the whole people but only by certain witnesses God had chosen beforehand. Now we are those witnesses – we have eaten and drunk with him after his resurrection from the dead – and he has ordered us to proclaim this to his people and to tell them that God has appointed him to judge everyone, alive or dead. It is to him that all the prophets bear this witness: that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name.’

Acts 10:34,37-43

What a witness!

  • What of the Lord’s work are we witness to?
  • Where and to whom might we be his witnesses?
  • And why? What is it that we might do by witnessing to the Lord and his merciful love?

Mosaic pavement in Caesarea Martima, Israel – the place of meeting between Peter and Cornelius (though not necessarily on this floor!) (c) Allen Morris, 2007