Those were the words of Fr. Miguel Pro a thirty-six year old Jesuit who was accused of plotting against the Mexican government as he was shot to death in 1927. Fr. Miguel had a great theology of Christ the King, a feast that was instituted by the Catholic Church two years before his execution. Today we know this feast as “Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.” What took the Church so long to acknowledge Jesus under this title? For one thing, Kings didn’t have good reputations in human history; in the early 20th Century they were virtually extinct and world conflicts began to focus and polarize more on ideologies, like Fascism, Nazism, and Socialism. Pius XI felt a need to present a Church response to these movements and presenting Christ the King to the world as a model presented just the challenge he needed against those ideologies.
John’s Gospel, where Jesus is presented before Pilate is a model to the dynamic mentioned above. Pilate, the product of the Roman Empire had little regard for this individual who was accused before him by the petty concerns of others. His own reputation, power, authority and control needed to be protected and eliminating Jesus was certainly the best way to guarantee his status. That is the way of all empires and that is why none of them continue to exist except for the Kingdom of God that is Eternal, Universal and Personal. It is eternal in view of its foundation in God. It is universal in the sense that it is God’s invitation to everyone, not just Jews or Catholics. And it is personal in the sense that what becomes of God’s kingdom on earth depends on the power and depth of our own individual response to it in our own hearts and minds.
C.S. Lewis wrote this interesting insight in Mere Christianity: "If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this." Little did he know how far our world would drive out the reality of God’s Kingdom by ideologies that were planted in our hearts by those who saw no need for God! Besides, who needs a weakened and victimized image of God who was mocked and crucified? Ah but isn’t that the very point and source of Jesus’ power in establishing God’s Kingdom! It is not of this world; it has a different set of values. It is not preoccupied with making itself God!