Christ the King

The Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, was dragged before a minor earthly ruler, Pilate, and was asked the question, “Are you a king, then?” Such a simple question, and yet so fertile. As a seed bursting with the beginning of life when it falls into good soil is able to produce a harvest beyond imagining, so Christ’s answer to Pilate’s question (if it had been met with some glimmer of grace, some hint of human charity) might have lifted the life of that petty potentate into the upper reaches of God’s glory, for our Lord told him, “My kingdom is not of this world…” But that, Pilate could not grasp. And so instead he has been immortalized with the phrase “…suffered under Pontius Pilate…” which describes the death of the King he could never understand. We, however, have been given to know the Kingdom “not of this world,” and so have been spared the blindness which afflicted Pilate. In the cross we see a throne. In the thorns we see a crown. In the wounded side we see a gateway to Christ’s kingdom, which is eternal.

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in thy well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Author: Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

3 thoughts on “Christ the King”

  1. Dear Father,

    I thought your words were both beautifully measured and full of grace.
    Your words meant something particularly special to me because I received news that my grandfather is dying and nearer to meeting our Lord within hours. Grandfather is 93 years old and has been so much the father figure in my life as a boy, perhaps the model of the perfect grandpa-certainly to me.

    In your words of Christ the King I am reminded that grandfather has been graced with the vision of knowing Jesus Christ the King of the universe and that Pilate could not know it and was blind to the Lord's true reign and power to save.

    Grandfather Belen has always reminded me that I am his name's sake. With his life and testimony of the Christ's lordship, grandfather also leave a faithful legacy of faithful discipleship. May grandfather share in the blessed peace and joy as he is to be received in Christ's kingdom. Amen.

Leave a Reply