“He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.” – St Augustine
(Gospel text: Jn 18:33B-37)
Pilate said to Jesus,
"Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?"
Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?"
Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here."
So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?"
Jesus answered, "You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
Today the Church proclaims the Feast of Christ the King. This day always reminds me of a Jesuit priest from Mexico, Father Miguel Pro, who served the Church in the early 20th century.
I have always been inspired by the example of Blessed Miguel Pro, who lived during a very trying time for the Mexican people. The Catholic Church was terribly persecuted.
A popular uprising of Catholic laymen called the Cristeros rose to the occasion to free the Church from the anti-clerical laws enforced by President Plutarco Calles.
Blessed Miguel Pro died as a martyr, executed on the firing squad by federal soldiers on November 23, 1927.
As he stood, waiting for the shots that would end his earthly life and begin a new life in the kingdom of heaven, he forgave his executioners, and spreading out his arms in the form of a cross he cried out, “Viva Cristo Rey!” Long live Christ the King!
No true reforms will take place in the Church; no renewal will take place in our nation until Jesus Christ reigns in everyone's heart.
Viva Cristo Rey! Long live Christ the King!