“I came into the world for this, to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.”
Based on the gospel for Sunday 25 November, Christ the King – John 18:33-37
This reflection and prayer were written by Joy Wanless, from Our Lady of Grace parish, Prestwich near Manchester. It is taken from CAFOD’s Weekly Reflections, to which you can subscribe. Joy has been contributing to the national weekly reflections for the last few weeks and is a CAFOD volunteer.
Chipo, a 25-year-old mother in Zimbabwe, was living in poverty with her three children. Until CAFOD lent a hand, the children had no birth certificates, so couldn’t access basic services or attend school. When you can’t prove who you are, your future can look bleak.
In Sunday’s gospel, powerful leaders feel threatened by Jesus preaching his message of truth, justice and peace while they rule through oppression and hardship. They are alarmed by the rumours that he is seen as some sort of king.
The leaders couldn’t hear Jesus’ simple truth – that we should love one another as God the father loves us.
A perplexed Pilate confronts Jesus, with no clear sense of who Jesus is or why he is there. “Are you the King of the Jews?” he asks. “What have you done?”
Jesus replies that he came into the world to testify to the truth. Pilate tries to send him back to the Jewish leaders, but eventually bows to pressure.
What are we doing to advocate Jesus’ truth? What frightens us to bow to pressure and step away from what we know is right?
How many like Chipo and her family don’t legally exist because of unjust systems? Or are persecuted like Jesus for what they believe? We pray for the courage to stand up for those who are pushed aside by a hostile world.
We thank you for sending your son that we might know your truth. May we be inspired by Jesus’ example to love others, even at a cost to our own comfort and security. May we help fight unjust systems where people are not even seen, let alone loved. May we love one another. We ask this in your truth.
For more prayer resources visit the prayer page of the CAFOD website.