‘He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed...’ — Dn 7:14

This Sunday is the last Sunday of the liturgical year. We celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ, king of the universe.

In Sunday’s Gospel (Jn 18:33b-37), Jesus is in conversation with Pontius Pilate. The setting is the Passion, Good Friday.

Recall that Pilate placed a sign over Jesus on Good Friday that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.” When Pilate brought out Jesus after he had scourged Him, he cried out to the crowd, “Behold, your king!” Pilate did not understand how true his words actually were.

However, as Jesus Himself states, His kingdom does not belong to this world. In this world, Jesus came to suffer in order to redeem us. In that process of redemption, He made Himself like us. He hid His kingship for a time.

He states, however, to Pilate: “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

Where is kingdom?

If we know the truth, then we will see Jesus for who He really is. The truth is unchanging and eternal. Jesus, as truth, leads us along the sure path of union with Him to our ultimate redemption.

His kingdom does not belong here, in this transitory world, but it can change this world, and it has. His sacrifice and the values that flow from it stand forever. They bring light into the darkness of our lives.

His kingdom is more real and powerful than any earthly reign. It is an eternal kingdom of dominion, power, authority, love and truth, as we hear in the first reading (Dn 7:13-14).

It is the true kingdom that we all long for. We are citizens of that land; here, we are only wayfarers. No one can take that hope from us. No matter how difficult things get, the hope we have in heaven is real and more powerful than anything this world has to offer.

That truth brings us to face the difficulties and transform them into meaningful opportunities for union with Christ Himself.

Jesus shows us how to do this in His own sacrifice. He did not back down from the cross. He embraced it out of love for us. He submitted to the authority of Pilate, unjust though it was, because it was the way of love.

We have the opportunity, here and now, to honor our king. We do that by bearing witness to Him in our everyday lives. We also honor Him by willingly partaking of His sacrifice and uniting ourselves to Him in an intentional way.

We’ll know Him

Small acts of faith, hope and love, seemingly insignificant, make His kingship a reality in our lives. We no longer act alone, as though we have no leader. We are united within His kingdom. Then, when we see Him face to face, we will know Him as our king.

As the second reading (Rev 1:5-8) states, “Every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him.” Each one of us will come face to face with Jesus. For some it will be a meeting of eternal joy; for others, it will be a harsh moment of judgment.

We have been given the grace we need to make each moment count, such that our final moment will be one of everlasting happiness. When we see Him, if we have conformed our lives to His, we will know Him as our king. We will not need to ask Him where His kingdom is. It will have already begun in our heart.