Scripture Reflection by Deacon Mark Purdome
As the prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate was the supreme judge, and he had the power to order a criminal’s execution. Jesus knew this as he stood before him, accused of treason, yet sure of his belief, confident of his legacy.
Jesus wasn’t the kind of King to make a lot of laws to ensure his legacy. We’re used to that from our politicians, passing laws and making rules to try to cement their mark in history. But not Jesus. His legacy would not be in the books of rules that he left behind.
Instead, he pointed to his true mission. Pilate asked him political questions, and Jesus gave spiritual answers. Pilate asked, “What have you done?”; Jesus responded that he had done what he needed to do.
With his time running out, Jesus stood there knowing what the most powerful rulers, the most feared Kings had failed to grasp: legacy is not formed by royal proclamation, by laws or rules. True legacy is formed by shared values, a culture of love and acceptance, and an appeal to kindness.
Jesus knew that his legacy would be measured by the values that he taught with his everyday life. Laws can be rewritten, and traditions can die out. But the set of shared attitudes, values, and goals that defined his followers would last for the ages. And by this measure, this young man was the King of Kings, the Alpha and the Omega, the Son of Man coming on a cloud of glory.
Every day of his life, he demonstrated that true power is derived from how we treat others. The acts Jesus championed were not designed to amass power, but to create fearless hearts. To build a kingdom enforced not by rules, but established by love.
Fr. John Foley once wrote about the time he was writing a reflection and made a typo. It was one of those annoying typos not caught by autocorrect because it was a legitimate word. It was only later, when he was proofreading, that he discovered he had typed Christ the Kind instead of Christ the King.
In many ways, that’s what we’re celebrating today: Christ the Kind.
What about our own legacies? How will we be remembered? Our legacy is formed not in spite of our daily struggles, but because of them. Day in and day out, we develop our legacy in the kindness that we show others.
Christ the Kind. That’s the legacy we hope to leave as well. So try it out! Substitute your own name: _______________ the Kind. Will this be your legacy?