November 25, 2018 / 34th – Christ the King Sunday -
• Daniel 7:13-14 • Psalm 93 • Revelation 1:5-8 • + Mark 18:33b-37 •
[__00__] This is the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King, a feast day that was established to remind us that Jesus is our eternal king and greater than any earthly ruler, so.. we are called not only to consider what our RIGHTS or PRIVILEGES are in governmental ways or municipal ways or constitutional ways, but also what are our RIGHTS and PRIVILEGES in a religious sense, in a Christian sense.
[__01__] Recently, my 10 years privileges were “up”. My 10 years of privilege had expired. This was not the expiration date for a driver’s license or credit card, but rather for my U.S. Passport.
It was amazing how fast those 10 years passed, as I can recall applying for a renewal – in 2008 – also at the Roseland post office for the passport that had gone into effect in 1998.
The 10 years will be up – will expire – again – 2028. I must mark it on my calendar.
[__02__] Having a passport is a privilege, to be able to travel from one country to another and then return home.
When I was submitting the form and envelope and application to be mailed/shipped – with my current passport – for the renewal – the post office representative at the desk ask me if I wanted a tracking number, if I wanted “tracking” = certified mail.
You know, it’s a good idea. It’s an important document. So, I signed up for the tracking number. Soon, the holiday and Christmas shopping season will be up on us with lots of shipping and tracking numbers to watch and observe.
So, I wanted in this case to keep track and paid the $3.61 extra to check on that PRIVILEGE.
Maybe – just maybe – I will receive the renewal sent back to me sooner. I’m checking on – keeping track of – my privilege. In this case, PRIVILEGE = PASSPORT.
[__03__] This Sunday is the Feast of Jesus Christ the King.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, we read about Jesus being checked, examined, interrogated by Pontius Pilate. He is on trial.
Pontius Pilate is checking Jesus’ privilege. Jesus, meanwhile is checking his own privilege.
[__04__] Perhaps, you have heard this term – this expression – “CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE”.
It doesn’t mean – simply – that Homeland Security is scanning your passport or that the State Trooper is checking your driver’s license.
Rather, “check your privilege” is an invitation to examine – governmentally, culturally, personally - what are my (or your) privileges, rights, advantages. How do people see me in terms of RACE, CULTURE, CLASS?
It is a statement – “check your privilege” – relevant and applicable to situations in which we might – inadvertently or not so inadvertently – use our power, authority or wealth or even our intelligence to take advantage of someone.
Check your privilege.
[__05__] Pontius Pilate – in this trial and courtroom moment was checking Jesus’ privileges. This is because Pilate feels threatened. Shake him down. Check his privilege. Make him carry the cross. Crucify him.
The Good News for you and me is that Jesus checks his own privilege, by laying down his life.
Jesus is not simply surrendering his passport or going to the county jail. But he is giving up his life willingly.
Am I capable – are we capable – in a religious sense to check our privileges? By doing so, we can become a disciple closer to Jesus – closer to the Father , Son, and Holy Spirit.
[__05.01_RIGHT LIFE EXAMPLE_] For example, it is a privilege to know that I have – you have – a right to life and a right to live.
Because God loves me and created me – because God loves you and created you, he gives us a right to life.
That’s a privilege.
But, does my right to life > exceed, is my right to life GREATER THAN someone else’s right to life?
When we lay down our lives, as parents, as mothers and fathers, as priests, as religious sisters, as friends, to take care of our children, we are … CHECKING OUR PRIVILEGE. In other words, we are handing over our privilege for the greater good of someone else, someone more vulnerable.
In the debate about the right to life, the ethics of legalized abortion or the legalization of assisted suicide, we are called to recognize that living and life are privileges that we did not earn on our own. Check your privilege.
It is difficult to take care of someone who is ill or dying or infirm.
Can I check my privilege?
Jesus also tells us that we have access to his mercy. That we have the ability and right and privilege to confess our sins and be forgiven.
It’s a privilege. But, what is my attitude toward those who might hurt me, injure me, the sins of others toward those who trespass against me?
We are all sinners in need of God’s grace. We are called to check our privilege.
[__06__] To remember that Jesus is our King that he gives us these privileges. In the Gospel, we read about Jesus being checked, being examined.
But, Jesus also knows that he is sinless and still gives up his life for us.By laying down his life for us, he gives us access to God, access that will not expire, but also must be preserved, saved, protected and renewed in our prayer and repentance each day, as we recall that Jesus is our King. [__fin__]