Jesus’ Kingship Is Freeing, Not Oppressive, Says Pope

At Angelus, Invites Faithful to Join With Good Thief in Asking Christ to Remember Us

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Jesus is not the king of another world but simply another kind of king, Pope Francis said today before praying the midday Angelus with those in St. Peter’s Square.

On this feast of Christ the King, the last day of the liturgical year, the Pope considered the kingship of Jesus, drawing from the Gospel reading, which presents Jesus before Pilate.

“We have here a contraposition of two types of logic,” the Pope said. “The worldly logic bases itself on ambition, competition, combat with the weapons of fear, of bribery, of the manipulation of consciences. On the other hand, the logic of the Gospel, that is, the logic of Jesus, is expressed in humility and gratitude. It is affirmed silently but effectively with the force of truth.”

Jesus reveals himself as a king precisely on the cross, the Holy Father added. 

“To speak of power and strength, for the Christian, means to make reference to the power of the cross, and the strength of Jesus’ love: a love that remains firm and complete, even when faced with rejection, and which is shown as the fulfillment of a life poured out in the total surrender of itself for the benefit of humanity,” he said.

This kingship was recognized by the “good thief,” who despite having received a death sentence for “all of the brutalities that he had committed in his life” found in Jesus’ behavior and meekness the great force of love.

“The majesty of Jesus doesn’t oppress us, but rather frees us from our weaknesses and miseries, encouraging us to walk the path of the good, of reconciliation and of pardon. Let us look at the cross of Jesus, let us look at the good thief, and say together what the good thief said: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,” the Pontiff invited.

When we “feel that we are weak, that we are sinners, defeated,” Francis encouraged, then we should ask Jesus to look at us, and “tell him: ‘You are there. Don’t forget me.’”

“To say ‘Jesus has given his life for the world’ is true,” the Pope said. “But it is more beautiful to say, ‘Jesus has given his life for me.’”

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Kathleen Naab

United States

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