Fr. Ferdinand's Homily for the Feast of Christ the King of the Universe. 20 November 2021,

Posted on 22nd November, 2021


Today's Gospel reading is part of the Passion narrative from John's Gospel, which we hear every Good Friday. Jesus is on trial. After having been arrested and brought before Caiaphas, the Jewish High Priest,  he is now standing before Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler at the time.


The Jewish leaders want to kill Jesus; he has become a threat to their authority.


However, they were not allowed to sentence him to death. The Romans had withdrawn from the Jewish court the power to sentence people to death.


Therefore, the Jewish leaders accuse Jesus of having called himself King. This was a sensitive issue for the Romans; they did not tolerate kings in their territory,  for kings could be a threat to their authority.

Therefore, Pilate asks Jesus: Are you the King of the Jews? Yes, I am a King, Jesus answers, but my Kingdom is not of this world.


Jesus was wary of being called a King. He did not want to be misunderstood and to be identified with the kings of the world. When he entered Jerusalem and people wanted to make him King, he sat on a donkey to demonstrate the nature of his kingship.


My kingdom is not of this world. Jesus' kingdom is different. It is not placed on us from the outside, but it begins in the human heart. His Kingdom starts when we welcome Jesus into our hearts, and when we allow him to reign, when we allow him to lead us.


His Kingdom is not enforced on us but it is like a gift.


To let Jesus lead us means to choose for him:

To choose love rather than hatred, to choose enthusiasm rather than cynicism, to choose unity rather than division, to choose trust rather than fear, to choose gentleness rather than extremism, and to choose truth rather than falsehood and lies.


Jesus' kingdom begins in our hearts, but it does not remain enclosed there. From our hearts it spreads, it flows like a river, into our families and community, our relationships and places of work, into the world of sports and entertainment, the world of politics and economics.


Jesus compares the Kingdom to yeast. He says: the kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.

The kingdom has a humble beginning in our hearts but it is destined for enormous growth in the whole of society.


The events of last Sunday when a bomb exploded at the Women's Hospital demonstrate what happens when people do not welcome the Kingdom in their hearts and make choices contrary to this kingdom, trying to instil fear and division.


In the wake of these events,  we are called not to give in to the temptation of fear, disunity and mistrust, but to continue to welcome the kingdom as a gift in our hearts, to let Jesus lead us, and to choose and work for unity, trust and understanding.


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