The King of Kings

Christ the King (B) – John 18:33-37

“Ridiculous! Absurd!” Pilate thought to himself, as the strange young carpenter from Nazareth was brought before him. “This man – the king of the Jews?” Here was a poor man from the wrong part of the country. His small band of followers, after putting up a token, brief resistance, had all fled and abandoned him. What threat could Jesus possibly pose? Still, this was a volatile people. One never knew who or what would spark the next rebellion. Better to snuff out any potential trouble now.  Continue reading “The King of Kings”


Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)

And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.  – Luke 21:27-28

On this last Sunday before the feast of Christ the King, the Scripture readings look forward to what we usually call “the end of the world”, “the Second Coming”, or “the Final Judgment”.  Each of these phrases expresses a certain aspect of what is to come. It captures some element of what the Lord has promised will happen when the time is fulfilled.   Continue reading “Vindication”

Does Anybody See What I See?

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (B): Mark 12:38-44

Is anybody there?
Does anybody care?
Does anybody see what I see?

– John Adams, from the musical “1776

Jesus is sitting opposite the treasury in the Temple as we encounter him in this Sunday’s Gospel, observing people as they make their donations. Why is he there? What is he looking for?

At this point in Mark’s Gospel, it is Holy Week. Holy Thursday would happen in a day or two. Jesus has been preparing his disciples for what is about to happen. They have tried to understand him and to follow him, but they aren’t quite there yet. Jesus knows that their faith will be severely tested very soon. What might help them survive that hour?  Continue reading “Does Anybody See What I See?”

The Greatest Commandment

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (B): Mark 12:28-34

Over this past year, we have seen many instances where people’s homes have been threatened – or destroyed – by wildfires, floods, or hurricanes.

Imagine that it’s your home that is threatened. You have just been told that you have thirty minutes to leave your home if you wish to save your lives. You can’t take everything with you, of course.

What do you save? The rest of your family, first of all. And then?  Your pets? Your wallet or purse? Some important documents? Your cellphone? Your laptop? Some clothing? A watch or piece of jewelry that came from a beloved grandparent? What do you leave?  In making these choices, you have had to set priorities. You discover what matters most to you. Not that you wanted to lose anything; but, when push came to shove, what was most important in your life? What defines you? What can you not live without?  Continue reading “The Greatest Commandment”