christ-the-king

Carlos Caso-Rosendi

Since the early days of the Church we had revolutionaries.  You may remember this scene we revisit during our Easter Masses:

It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. (John 19:14-16)

That was the conceptual birth of Liberalism. What does Liberalism propose to  “liberate” you from? The rule of Christ, of course! Liberals entered the game when Christ made his appearance. They were not called Liberals then — the Liberal label has morphed through history often–but those religious leaders, the chief priests, were quite sure of the basic idea: they did not want Christ to be their king.

The elements present in this scene are four. First is Christ, presented to the people of Israel as their king.  Second is the faithful following of Christ who were powerlessly  watching the judgment and execution of their King. The third element are the religious leaders and the mob they had gathered to intimidate the Roman governor. The fourth actor is Pontius Pilate, representing the Roman order.

“We have no king but Caesar!”

We know that the mob and the religious leaders lied when they declared that Caesar was their king. They reinforced their lie but affirming “”His blood be on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:25) After the Crucifixion, that same people went on supporting various rebellions against the Roman rule. The main rebellion was suffocated by Titus Vespasianus in 70 A.D. several similar uprisings took place in the centuries to come, none of them was successful. As a result, the Promised Land was desolated and lost most its Jewish population.

Encapsulated in this brief passage of the Gospel, we find the history of the centuries to come. That mob and the religious leaders were the first of a long list of revolutionaries that tried to overthrow the established order. Their excuse to revolt is always a pseudo-moral imperative of some sort, a political objective disguised as a religious impulse, a false piety meant to justify their lust for power. We see it today when the lefties bark with indignation:  “That is common decency!” or “We demand justice!” hypocritically trying to gain the high moral ground.

Revolutionaries always end up mimicking a religious cult. That is why the religious leaders were standing there before Pilate, mixing with those they otherwise despised.

Power from above

Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” (John 19: 9-12)

The Roman order stands by God’s permission. The kings of the earth willingly or not, are God’s servants. Pilate could plainly see that Jesus was innocent but he knew the snakes he was dealing with. He did not want to have any problems with the Emperor. The pressure of the revolutionaries seem to always manage to intimidate the rulers.

Christ the King was crucified. Barabbas the revolutionary was let loose. And yet, the drama was barely beginning. The Church was in total disarray, her leaders cowardly going into hiding after their first Pope denied Christ three times. Only Jesus’s mother with a few loyal friends and John, the youngest of his disciples, remained with the condemned King. The world was upside down and darkness covered the land.

In spite of this difficult start, the Church was not lost. After Pentecost there was an explosion of growth and the following centuries saw the Church expanding all over the world to this day. Then the disciples understood the prophetic words of Jesus:

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father […] (John 14:12-14)

Notice also that those who are not “doing the works” of Jesus are not included in the promise to do “even greater things.” Those who are weak, mediocre, cowardly, and lukewarm will be identified by the rotten fruits of their work. (Matthew 7:16)  Those are “outside” (Revelation 22:15) of the communion even if they are inside the Church. (1 John 2:19)

In the long centuries to follow the Crucifixion, the four actors that played the drama of Christ’s judgment in the Praetorium of Pontius Pilate fought a long battle that is now reaching its climax. The temporal powers –represented by the Roman order of Jesus’ time– have continued to rule mankind while resisting the assault of the revolutionary mob. The revolutionaries have managed to gain influence and even control of some areas of human activity: geographical, social, political, etc. In the last century or so they have launched a final assault on the Church with great success. I do believe they have infiltrated the institutions that govern the Church. They may even have a hold on the Petrine seat. That affirmation is not going to make me many friends. Yet, I have many good reasons to believe it’s true. If anyone is able to demonstrate that I am wrong, I will stand corrected.

The true Church of Christ –the part that is faithful to His teachings and mission– is one more time befuddled and confused as the world is turned upside down and darkness seems to cover every nation. (Isaiah 60:2) Bishops of the Church, the inheritors of the Apostolic authority are involved in the most heinous heresies and crimes; strange councils are called to deal with fashionable banalities and projects opposed to the explicit will of God. The brokenhearted faithful exert their minds trying to understand why no one in authority condemns the wrongdoers.

In happier times, the king of any given Christian nation had the power to depose a heretical bishop or priest. That is no longer an option in a world drunk with the cheap wine of “democracy” and “equality” we are sinking fast. Only divine intervention can solve this, but divine will requires a satisfaction for the sins committed: penance. For the nation of Israel in the first century, that satisfaction came when a Roman general destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. In the end, the temporal powers had enough of the rubble rousers and took care of them swiftly. Will there be a repeat of that in this age? As the government teams of attorneys prepare a legal cause to deal with the degenerates in the U.S. dioceses of the Catholic Church, I am quite sure they will discover many connections, even links to governments and organizations hostile to the United States. Whatever chastisement comes upon the Church will be permitted by God and should be welcomed by the faithful.

Christ’s voice resonates through the ages in his counsel to the seven Churches. Read it carefully:

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.  Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

It is time to seek the “gold refined by fire” that is: fidelity to doctrine even up to martyrdom. The “white garments” of purity that give true witness of Christ to a world awash in sin. And “salve to anoint your eyes” so our eyes can see the light of truth in a dark world filled with deception of all kinds.

The revolution has backfired. The people are beginning to surmise that the revolutionaries are not liberators, they are ruffians and knaves bent on dominating the world, enslaving the population and ransacking the riches of the nations. The revolution is running out of things to destroy and pervert. It has turned its attention now to the natural order, the last frontier in their quest to kill everything that lives. In doing so, the revolutionaries are beginning to reveal who is driving all this senseless destruction: the father of lies, the enemy of God, mankind, and life. Their destiny is already written:

And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:9-10)

Pray, hope, and don’t worry. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

 


 

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