MEDITATION ON THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING THE GOSPEL JN 18:33-37 TUESDAY MEDITATION ~ FR. FRANCIS COSTERUS S.J. 1616
DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
Pilate's First Interrogation of Christ (scene 13)
GOSPEL JN 18:33-37
At that time: Pilate said to Jesus: Art Thou King of the Jews? Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of Me? Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered Thee up to me: what hast Thou done? Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from hence. Pilate therefore said to him: Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a King. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice.
Meditation of the examination of Pilate
Jesus answered, my Kingdom is not of this world: If my Kingdom were of this world, my Soldiers would fight for me, that I should not be delivered up to the Jews; but now my Kingdom is not from hence. Pilate said unto him; then art thou a King? Jesus answered, thou sayest, that I am a King.
Consider first that Christ answered Pilate plainly, who dealt sincerely with him; but to the Jews, who went about to entrap him, he would not answer but adjured. For our Lord detesteth fiction, and with the simple in his speech.
Consider secondly that he applied himself to this Ethic, deriving his argument from the use and custom of men. You may understand (saith he) by this, that I seek not a Kingdom of this world, because I have no Soldiers, nor Champions for my defense. But with the Jews, that knew the Law, he used the Scriptures. Thou maist learn hereby that God useth always & reasons to convert thee and others. If thou wouldst consider those means, which our Lord used to help and cure thee, thou wouldest admire Gods prudent love and charity towards thee.
Consider thirdly (My Kingdom is not of this world.) He doth not say in this world: For he reigneth in his Church, and in thee: But he saith, of this world, that is to say, It is not lie the Kingdoms of this world, neither doth it consist in the multitude of Servants and Soldiers, nor in solemnity and pomp, nor in riot and bravery of apparel; But in the ornament of the soul, in voluntary obedience and multitude of virtue. And perhaps in this Kingdom of Christ there are more poor, beggarly, weak, and unlearned; then rich, noble, mighty, and wise people. Be thou careful therefore that Christ may rule thee and thy affections, and reign in thee. For if to serve Christ is to reign then Christ reigning in thee will make thee a mighty King, ruling over thyself, & the whole world.
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616