Gospel – John 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.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
574 From the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, certain Pharisees and partisans of Herod together with priests and scribes agreed together to destroy him. Because of certain of his acts—expelling demons, forgiving sins, healing on the sabbath day, his novel interpretation of the precepts of the Law regarding purity, and his familiarity with tax collectors and public sinners —some ill–intentioned persons suspected Jesus of demonic possession. He is accused of blasphemy and false prophecy, religious crimes which the Law punished with death by stoning.
600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination,” he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.
597 The historical complexity of Jesus’ trial is apparent in the Gospel accounts. The personal sin of the participants (Judas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate) is known to God alone. Hence we cannot lay responsibility for the trial on the Jews in Jerusalem as a whole, despite the outcry of a manipulated crowd and the global reproaches contained in the apostles’ calls to conversion after Pentecost. Jesus himself, in forgiving them on the cross, and Peter in following suit, both accept “the ignorance” of the Jews of Jerusalem and even of their leaders. Still less can we extend responsibility to other Jews of different times and places, based merely on the crowd’s cry: “His blood be on us and on our children!” a formula for ratifying a judicial sentence. As the Church declared at the Second Vatican Council:
From “The Passion” Testimony of Catalina Rivas (Part 1.12.3, 1.14.3)
3) Represented in Pilate, I saw the souls who lack the courage and generosity to vigorously break away from the demands of the world and from their own nature. Instead of uprooting what their conscience tells them about not being of the world and of nature and what their conscience tells them about not being in the right spirit, they yield to a whim; they get pleasure out of superficial satisfaction; they partially surrender to the demands of their passion, and to ease remorse, they tell themselves “I have already deprived myself of this or that, and that is enough.”
3) I did not answer any of Pilate’s questions. But when he asked: “Are You the King of the Jews?”, then with seriousness and integrity, I answered: “You have said so; I am the King, but My kingdom is not of this world…” With these words I wanted to teach many souls how, when they are presented with the opportunity to endure suffering or a humiliation that could easily be avoided, they should answer with generosity: “My kingdom is not of this world…”. That is to say, I do not seek the praises of human beings. My Homeland is not this one, yet soon I will rest where it truly is. Now, take courage to fulfill My duty without taking into account the opinion of the world. What matters to Me is not their esteem but to follow the voice of grace that suffocates the inducements of nature. If I am not able to conquer alone, I will ask for strength and counsel since, on many occasions, passions and excessive self-love blind the soul and impel it to act wrongly.
Each week we will be presenting a portion of the following Sunday’s readings, and linking it to relevant parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and messages from the Testimony of Catalina. Pay special attention to the italicized underlined sections. This Sunday it is asked, What kind of soil will you be for the word of God? We hope this is inspiring and educational. Any comments you have are certainly welcomed.
Tim Francis prepared this educational program to help you increase your faith and love for the Holy Trinity and our Blessed Mother. His website is http://YouShallBelieve.com
I have known Tim for many years and recommend his work highly. He is a strong advocate for the “The Real Body and Blood Of Jesus” and the numerous miracles that occur on a daily basis. Both of us are greatly inspired by the amazing writings of Catalina Rivas. Catalina is one of the few individuals in history who personally experienced the “Stigmata Of Jesus Christ.”