The Gospel reading from the Mass for Sunday Cycle B for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, the 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time the 34th Week of Ordinary Time is John 18:33b-37. 

In this reading for the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year, the Church celebrates the Jesus Christ as the Universal King. Responding to the growing secular and atheistic culture, Pope Pius XI established this great feast in 1925 to remind humanity each year of Christ’s absolute kingly reign over all mankind. 

Partway through the ordeal of the Passion, Christ has been betrayed by His own (Judas), arrested, bound, beaten, denied by Peter, put through a sham trial by the Jewish leadership and turned over to Pilate with hopes Pilate will kill Him.  Pilate, a savvy Roman strongman administrator, was aware of Christ’s triumphant kingly entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and of previous false messiah kings who sought to restore the Kingdom of Israel. Upon meeting Christ, Pilate’s overwhelming concern is to determine if Jesus is a political agitator who seeks to overturn Roman rule and establish a reborn Jewish Kingdom; Pilate asks, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Rather than respond to Christ’s question about Pilate’s interest in Him, Pilate focuses on if Christ is a political threat (“What have you done?”). 

Christ, again offering Pilate a chance to save his soul by engaging in the truth of who He is, reveals that His Kingship is supernatural, it is infinitely greater than a worldly kingdom. Pilate, lost in spiritual and intellectual darkness, unable to grasp Christ’s astounding response, dumbly asks, “So you are a king?” Christ, ever merciful, offers Pilate one last chance to engage by revealing that those who embrace truth recognize Christ’s witness to truth. Pilate, invincibly darkened, does not grasp that he is in the presence of Truth Himself and cynically asks, “What is truth?” (omitted from today’s reading). 

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ sets the criteria by which nations and men will be judged and confirms the reality of Heaven (Eternal Life) and Hell (Eternal Punishment); He knows the details of every soul’s acts of mercy. Divine King and Divine Judge, Christ has the authority to judge all mankind. Divine Mercy, Christ seeks to comfort the suffering of men and urges men to do the same. 

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Be filled with awe at Christ’s clear proclamation of His Eternal Kingship and His authority over all men in life and death. 

2) Each time a Catholic man prays the Lord’s Prayer, he proclaims belief in Christ the King.  Review the Catechism’s teaching on Thy Kingdom Come (CCC 2804, 2816-2821, 2855-2856, 2859) and pray for Christ to help you always pray the Our Father with deep reverence.  

3) Based on Christ’s teaching, the Church has traditionally taught men about the Last Four Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. Review the Church’s teaching on the Four Last Things (CCC 1015-1019, 1051-1065) and pray for Christ your King to help you long for His Kingdom of Heaven and continue to grow towards sainthood.