Pope Francis: Jesus’ eternal kingdom founded on love 

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A Kingdom of Truth not Power

 Part Three: Love over political power

 

 

Pope Francis noted that the feast of Christ the King “reminds us that the life of creation does not advance by chance, but proceeds towards a final goal:

the definitive manifestation of Christ, the Lord of history and of all creation.”

He said the end goal of history will be fulfilled in Christ’s eternal kingdom.

 

 

Pope Francis’s Angelus address for the feast of ‘Christ the King’ can be read at, for instance: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-11/pope-francis-angelus-christ-the-king-love.html

 

Pope at Angelus: ‘Jesus’ eternal kingdom founded on love’

 

Ahead of the Sunday Angelus prayer on the Solemnity of Christ the King, Pope Francis says Jesus came to establish an eternal kingdom which is founded on love and gives peace, freedom, and fullness of life.

 

By Devin Watkins

 

Pope Francis prayed the Angelus on Sunday with thousands of pilgrims huddled under umbrellas in a rainy St. Peter’s Square. He even complemented their courage. “You’re brave to have come with this rain!” he said.

In his address ahead of the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father reflected on the day’s Gospel passage (Jn 18:33b-37) and the Solemnity of Christ the King. He said Jesus’ kingdom rests on the power of love, since God is love.

 

Christ the King

 

Pope Francis noted that the feast of Christ the King “reminds us that the life of creation does not advance by chance, but proceeds towards a final goal: the definitive manifestation of Christ, the Lord of history and of all creation.” He said the end goal of history will be fulfilled in Christ’s eternal kingdom.

 

In the day’s Gospel, Jesus has been dragged – bound and humiliated – before Pontius Pilate to be tried. The Pope said the religious authorities of Jerusalem present Jesus to the Roman governor of Judea as one who is seeking to supplant the political authority of Rome. They say he wants to become king.

So Pilate interrogates him, twice asking Jesus if he is the king of the Jews. Jesus replies that his kingdom “is not of this world”.

“It was evident all his life that Jesus had no political ambitions,” the Pope said. He noted that, after the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus’ followers had wanted to proclaim him king and to overthrow the power of Rome, in order to restore the kingdom of Israel. Jesus responded, the Pope said, by retreating to the mountain alone to pray.

 

Love over political power

 

With his responses to Pilate, Pope Francis said Jesus “wants to make it clear that above political power there is another, much greater power, which is not achieved by human means.”

Jesus, he said, “came to earth to exercise this power, which is love, to testify to the truth.”

The Holy Father said this divine truth, “which is ultimately the central message of the Gospel”, is that “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8).

Pope Francis said Jesus worked to establish “his kingdom of love, justice, and peace in the world”. Jesus’ kingdom, the Pope said, will last until the end of time.

 

Founded on love

 

He contrasted this eternal kingdom with short-lived, earthly kingdoms. “History teaches that kingdoms founded on the power of arms and lies are fragile and collapse sooner or later.”

The kingdom of God, Pope Francis said, “is founded on his love and is rooted in the heart, granting peace, freedom, and fullness of life to those who accept it.”

 

Finally, the Holy Father said Jesus is asking us to let Him become our king. “A king who by his word, example, and life sacrificed on the cross has saved us from death and points the way to people who are lost, and gives new light to our existence that is marked by doubt, fear, and daily trials.”

But, said Pope Francis, we must not forget that Jesus’ kingdom “is not of this world.”

“He can give new meaning to our life, which is at times put to the test even by our mistakes and sins, only on the condition that we do not follow the logic of the world and its ‘kings’

 

 

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The Cross of Jesus Christ – this is the “fifth essence”, the “philosopher’s stone”

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“As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame’.”

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

I Peter 2:4-6

  

St. Louis Grignion de Montfort wrote:

I am a poorly polished stone,

Crude and without adornment,

Shape it, Lord, I beg you,

To set it in your building.

I want to suffer in patience,

Cut, shape, strike, slice,

But help my helplessness

And forgive me my sins.

 

The Cross of Jesus Christ is the true Alchemy, the ‘philosopher’s stone’, the ‘fifth essence’, for which the ancient sages had sought so eagerly.

It is the Science of all sciences: “Strive then to become proficient in this all-important science under your great Master, and you will understand all other sciences, for it contains them all in an eminent degree”.

….

 

Taken from Friends of the Cross,

by St. Louis Grignion de Montfort

….
The mystery of the Cross is a mystery unknown to the Gentiles, rejected by the Jews, and despised by heretics and bad Catholics. But it is the great mystery you must learn to practice in the school of Christ, and which can only be learnt from him. You will look in vain in all the schools of ancient times for a philosopher who taught it; in vain you will appeal to the senses or to reason to throw some light on it. It is only Jesus, through his all-powerful grace, who can teach you this mystery and give you the ability to appreciate it.

 

Strive then to become proficient in this all-important science under your great Master, and you will understand all other sciences, for it contains them all in an eminent degree. It is our natural and supernatural philosophy, our divine and mystic theology, our philosopher’s stone, which by patience transforms the basest metals into precious ones, the bitterest pains into delight, poverty into riches, the most profound humiliations into glory. The one among you who knows best how to carry his cross, even though in other things he does not know A from B, is the most learned of all.

 

The great St. Paul returned from the third heaven, where he learned mysteries hidden even from the angels, and he proclaimed that he did not know, nor did he want to know anything but Christ crucified. Rejoice, then, you ordinary Christian, man or woman, without any schooling or intellectual abilities, for if you know how to suffer cheerfully, you know more than a doctor of Sorbonne University who does not know how to suffer as you do. ….

 

Philippians 3:8-11

 

I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his Resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.