"We gather in faith..."

Teaching and commentary from our pastor, Bishop Francis J. Christian


Though we often think of civic holidays such as

Memorial Day or the Fourth of July as the occasion

for thinking about what it means to be a citizen, the

church offers us the feast of Christ the King at the

end of the liturgical year as an opportunity to reflect

on political duty in relationship to our duty to Christ

and his reign.

The scene in the Gospel of John of Jesus before

Pilate is one of the most politically charged in all of

Scripture. It is an exchange concerning the nature of

power and authority and truth. For Pilate, power and

authority have been procured with military might;

the claim of Jesus to be a king must have struck him

as absurd. Jesus, however, claims that he has true

authority, the authority that derives from truth – a

claim that Pilate will reject with the cynical question

“What is truth?” before giving in to the crowd and

sending Jesus off to be crucified.

Of course, we are not citizens of imperial Rome. But

in reflecting on Jesus before Pilate, we should

remember that even good nations like our own have

turned their backs on truth for the sake of political

expediency. This feast ought to make us think about

our loyalties. There is, of course, nothing wrong

with loving your homeland. But as disciples of

Jesus, the true ruler of all, our primary loyalty must

be to Christ and the truth from which his power