God Almighty bless us each with an open mind and an open heart to hear your word and to apply it in our daily walk through life.
I want to start today’s thoughts with a question; do you know the King?
Over the centuries many have tried to answer this question in a variety of ways. Some have sought out sages and mystics, some have run the desert to spend lives in prayer, whilst others have sought the King in the face of the poor and afflicted. The paths to knowledge of the King are many and varied but we are all called to tread them.
Before our reading today starts, Jesus is arrested by the leaders of the Jewish community and brought before the Roman Governor Pilate for trial and condemnation. Pilate, obviously having listened to the report of the Jewish authorities asks Jesus if he is the King of the Jews. The response given is a rather cryptic one; “Do you say this of your own, or have others told you about me?”
When I first read this words I was a little puzzled by it, much like I imagine Pilate was. In Pilate’s mind, it should have been obvious to Jesus that he hadn’t ordered the arrest of Jesus. For this reason, it’s logical that Pilate would have spoken to the arresting authorities about what charges were being brought. So do these words of Jesus have another, deeper, meaning for those of us reading them?
To me, these words give us a clear indication of the only way that we can come to know Jesus, his role in our lives, and the place of his Kingdom. Jesus does not say to Pilate “you’ve been told all about me so you already know”. Instead, he asks Pilate if he has come to his own knowledge of Jesus, and this is the message to us. Have we taken what we have been told about Jesus and simply accepted it with a blind faith or have we walked the path as a seeker and come to a sure knowledge of who Jesus is, what he did, and what he continues to do for each and every one of us?
Jesus goes on to lay before Pilate some important teachings about himself, that he is a King but not of the world. And so it is for each of us, we are each called to come and listen to Christ as he unveils for us the mysteries of faith. I am sure that some of you are wondering what I mean by this, unlike Pilate we can’t stand physically before Christ so how are we to learn these mysteries.
The paths to understanding are many and varied but there are some key things that each and every one of us can do to progress on the path.
Firstly, each and every one of us has access to the Scriptures, here we can read the words of Christ and hear of the things that he did when walking upon the earth. In these pages we can learn much about Jesus and the mysteries that he taught his disciples. However, I know that often times when reading the scriptures things are not clear-cut and easy to understand, for this reason, prayer and meditation become another important key.
The life of the Church through the ages has been littered with mystics and saints called to a life of prayer and contemplation. These saints and sages have left us many methods of contemplating the word of God and calling the Spirit to work within us. Amongst these are Lectio Divina (a prayerful, meditative reading), Centering Prayer, the Daily Office, the Mass, and many others. Through these methods, the scriptures and the teachings of Christ within them can be opened up to us.
Throughout this coming week and through Advent I want to encourage each and every one of you to set some time aside to read the scriptures, and to pray and meditate to come to a deeper knowledge of Christ our Lord and King of the whole Universe.
Let us pray:
Heavenly Father, You have told us in Your word that if anyone lacks the knowledge and wisdom that we need we ought to ask You in faith because You have promised to give liberally to all who come to You trusting Your promises.
Lord, there are so many things that I do not understand and so much that is happening in our world that I come to You to ask for that precious gift of wisdom and knowledge. Your word says that Your people perish for lack of knowledge and I pray that You would supply me with all that I need to live the life that You would have me live – in spirit and truth –being as gentle as a dove but yet being as wise as a serpent.
Enlighten my understanding and provide me with the knowledge that I need each day so that I can step out into the future confident that I am in Your will. Lord I just ask that You provide what I need day by day, trusting You to oversee all my choices and praying that You would guide me along my life-path – to Your praise and glory.
As I search the scriptures daily I pray that You would teach me Your ways and empower me to stand firm in the evil day – knowing that Your grace is sufficient for ever eventuality that I may have to face – Thank You in Jesus name, Amen.