Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday of the Third Week in Lent

Jesus Confesses That He Is a King.


"Art you a king?" asked Pilate. Jesus answered: "You say that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth." But he adds: "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from here." Jesus is the King of the universe, but he came not into the world to exercise the functions of an earthly monarch. He came to serve, obey, live in misery, and die in shame. My soul, is your King within? Is this his kingdom? Do you wish to take part in his sufferings and ignominies?


The kingdom of God is not of this proud, ambitious, rich, and sensual world. His kingdom is within us. He reigns over us through the obedience that we show his commandments. He reigns through peace in our hearts, and by the submission we render to his divine providence. He reigns over our spirits by faith, our hearts by charity, our will by hope, our passions by mortification, and our bodies by the cross. He reigns in this life by grace, in the other by glory. Of which kingdom are you—that of Herod, or that of Jesus?


The kingdom of Jesus is not of this world; for his kingdom is the truth, and that of the world is vanity. If the kingdom of Jesus is not of this world, it follows that his disciples are not of it. You are not a disciple of Jesus if you are possessed with the spirit of the world, if you love its grandeur, if you seek its perishable treasures and its fleeting enjoyments; if you live as worldlings live, and follow the wicked maxims and customs thereof. Happy is he who can say with truth, my kingdom is not of this world! I am in the world, but not of it. Neither do I wish for an abiding-place in it. Happy is he who, at the hour of his death, can say with Jesus, I am going to my Father!

Resolution: Today I will deny myself some legitimate pleasure that I strongly desire.

Prayer: My beloved Jesus, thou art the true King of my heart. But how often I have displaced thee with the fleeting things of this life that will perish. Open my eyes to see that thou alone are my only treasure. My dearest Mother, give my heart to Jesus.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

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