God’s Kingdom

Solemnity of Christ the King

This Sunday is the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical year, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. As the year draws to a close we turn our thoughts to the time when Christ will return as king. It was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925, and celebrates the identity of Jesus who we honour as universal ruler and shepherd.

In the reading from John’s Gospel (a part of the passion), Jesus is brought before Pilate, the powerful governor of the Roman province of Judea, who questions Jesus about the charges brought against him. Caiaphas and the high priests have charged Jesus with a political crime, one which is punishable by death but Pilate distances himself from the Jewish leaders, he is not a Jew, and he seems to want little to do with this Jewish affair.

Jesus tells Pilate that his kingdom is not of this world but is a kingdom that bears witness to the truthfulness of who people are, the goodness of relationships, and is a place where people show mercy to those in need. In his kingdom people care for each other, Jesus is king but not the kind of king we imagine or expect. Jesus speaks of bearing witness to the truth that each person created by God is good and is given the gift of human freedom and is called to love each other and to develop strong, authentic relationships. Truth is an important theme running through John’s Gospel. It is emphasized at the end of the dialogue between Pilate and Jesus today. Those who know the truth will recognize Jesus as king and be messengers of truth, standing for peace and justice for all who are oppressed. Sometimes we may struggle to recognise Jesus as King. In reflecting on today’s Gospel we might consider, what are some of the conflicts between the values of our society and the values of the kingdom of Jesus?  We are invited to see with eyes of faith that we might recognise that Jesus, through his crucifixion and death, is indeed king and Saviour of all. We might ask ourselves in what ways has Jesus become ‘king’ of our own lives? Do we truly honour him with this title?

On this feast of Christ the King, we are called to examine our hearts in the light of the attitudes and actions of Jesus. Christ the servant King invites us to reach out to others and to let His healing grace fill our own hearts. Advent begins next week and is a time of preparation for Christmas, when we can become better followers of Jesus and give better service in His kingdom.

A reading from the Gospel of John (Jn 18:33-37)

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.”

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. As we reflect on Christ the Universal King this week it might be helpful to read and pray the words of Psalm 24. It is a Psalm of David. Entrance into the Temple; “Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors! That the King of glory may come in.” 
  4. We pray and reflect that we may learn how to avoid daily distractions which keep us from opening the gates of our hearts and allowing the King of glory to enter and take up residence there as the Lord and King of our lives.
  5. Together with your family find the right time to read this Gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare:
    i. The Bible reading from St John (Jn 18:33-37)
    ii. A candle
    iii. Cover the table with a white cloth
    iv. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips
  6. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested)
  7. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  8. Be creative 😊
  9. Go to the Prayer Corner section to continue praying as a family

Today is the feast of Christ the King. But Jesus did not live in a palace or wear a gold crown or have lots of servants. Jesus is a different kind of King. Jesus is ruler of everyone but he loves and cares for everyone too.

  • Jesus was born to be King, but not the kind of king that sits on a throne, wears a crown and rules an earthly kingdom. His Kingdom is in Heaven where he rules now and forever.
  • Crown template
  • Colours and stickers to decorate

Have you ever thought about what you want to be when you grow up? Maybe a teacher, a doctor, a vet, a lawyer or a nurse or even join the police force. There are so many jobs to choose. How do we decide? Do you think when Jesus was your age thought about what he was going to be when he grew up? His earthly father, Joseph was a carpenter, most probably Jesus used to help out in the workshop he could have been a carpenter also. He could also have been a doctor as he had the gift for healing people. He might even have been a wine maker as he turned water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana. Jesus may also have been a very good fisherman as he once told some fishermen where to cast their nets and they caught lots of fish! Those would all have been good choices for Jesus but that was not what he was born to do. He was born to be a king but not one who wears a crown of gold and lives in a palace. Jesus wore a crown of thorns and was born in a stable because he loves us and his love is very powerful and everlasting and he cares for each and every one of us.

During the last days of his life on earth, Jesus was arrested and put on trial. He was asked by Pilate the Roman governor, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Is that your idea, or have others told you this?” Jesus asked.

“It was your people who handed you over to me. What have you done wrong?” Pilate replied.

“My Kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to defend me. My Kingdom is from another place.”

“So you are a king then,” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world.”

Jesus was born to be King, we believe that Jesus is our king, but his kingdom is heaven. He is a heavenly king who shows us how to live. Everyone who believes in him wants to obey him because we know that he teaches us how to be truly happy.  

If you would like to recognise Jesus as your king you can make your very own crown, but don’t decorate it with jewels but with signs from Jesus’ life. For example you could draw a cross on it or a heart or a baby in a manger. It’s up to you.

Whilst doing this activity you can listen to the song: Jesus is the King.

Sign of the cross.

Jesus, you are the King of heaven and earth. I want you to be the King of my heart. Help me to live like you did, to love others, help others, and always say the truth. Thank you Jesus, I love you and adore you. Amen.

Every year on the last Sunday before Advent, we celebrate the feast day of Christ the King. Today we celebrate Christ as the ruler of all the universe. Jesus came into the world to save us and to bring about the kingdom of God on earth. 

  • Jesus is the ruler of all, King of Heaven and earth 
  • We call Jesus our King, but he is not like the kings and queens of countries. He is a different kind of king.

Follow the link to learn more about the feast of Christ the King.

 In today’s Gospel, Pontius Pilate asks Jesus if he is a king. Jesus answers that his Kingdom is not of this world. What do you think he means? Jesus is not an earthly king. So where is Jesus’ kingdom? He is the king of heaven, our Lord and Saviour. He came to teach us the truth about God the Father’s love and forgiveness and to save us from our sins. He shows us how to live.

Jesus doesn’t wear a crown, live in a palace or have lots of riches and servants. What kind of king do you think Jesus is? He certainly is powerful as he protects us from our enemies and helps us when we are in need. He served others rather than make others serve him. He wants us to obey his teachings and follow his example in all we do and say. Jesus shows us that you do not have to be rich and powerful to be important. He shows us that what is more important is how you treat others. What we do and say is much more important than whether we have the latest mobile or most fashionable shoes.

Pilate is confused. He could not understand what Jesus was saying. So he asks Jesus again if he is king. Jesus replies that he was born to come into the world and share the truth with all people. Pilate says, “Truth, what is that?” What do you think the truth that Jesus came to share is? It is, that Jesus is the Son of God and he came to show us how to live. He came to teach us to help others, to love our neighbours and to share with them. Jesus says that all those who are on the side of truth will listen to his voice. How can we listen to Jesus? We can listen by going to mass and hear the Gospel readings and think about what Jesus is showing us in them. Also we can listen to Jesus when we spend time in prayer talking to him.

This week let’s try really hard to listen carefully to everyone. But most of all let’s really try to listen to Jesus, a very different kind of king, in our lives.

To learn more about today’s Gospel you can follow the link from Catholic Brain or listen to the song; Jesus is the King.

Sign of the cross.

Christ our King, help us to be more like you in what we do and say. Help us to listen to your truth and to see that all people are important, no matter who they are or where they come from. Help us to listen to others especially those in need. Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer. Amen

Coming soon.

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.