Saturday, November 21, 2015

Who do you say that I am?


Tomorrow is the last Sunday in the liturgical year.  Soon we will begin the season of Advent, leading up to Christmas.  We will begin to think about the ways we can bring Christ into the world, and how we can celebrate his birth from day to day.  This Sunday though, we will be celebrating Jesus Christ as our King, the King of the universe.  I've spent a great deal of time thinking about these readings, and wondering.. what will I write about?  I keep being drawn to a specific phrase: "Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?"

I wonder what I would say if Jesus had said this to me?  Our parents taught us about Jesus first in most cases.  For some though, it was a teacher, a friend, a catechist, a priest.  In every case our faith has been handed on by someone else.  Someone told us about Jesus.  They told us he was the King of the universe.  They told us that we needed him in our lives.  That's a beautiful thing.  That is how the Church has operated since it's foundation in the first century. It can't end there though.

"Do you say this on your own?"  It is so important that we don't just know Jesus intellectually.  We must know him intimately.   He is indeed the King of the Universe.  He is indeed our Master and our Teacher.  He's also our brother and our friend.  We need to learn to know who he is.  Unlike the Blue's Brothers, we don't just want the facts.  We want a relationship.  We need to spend time with Jesus.  In the Sacraments.   In our friends and family.  In the poor. Jesus reminds us in the last part of tomorrow's gospel: "For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." 

How can we hear God's voice if we don't listen for it?  Society encourages us to fill everything with sound, everything with self.  Portable music devices, internet coverage from seashore to seashore, if you want something there is an app for that.  We can hear the top songs.  Watch the top shows.  Videos from the top Youtubers are that touch of a button. What we need though is to spend some time just listening to Christ.   If we are constantly talking or listening, we never give him room to speak.  That I think is our challenge this day as we wonder if we truly have accepted, honored and realized the truth of what it means for Christ to be our King.

My wife and I just watched the movie Bruce Almighty together, again. Toward the end of the movie Jim Carey drops to his knees in the middle of a highway in a rain storm.   He realizes that he doesn't know how to take care of things.  That even with unlimited power he is just making a mess of things.  He cries out to God and says "I surrender to your will."  Of course, in typical comedic fashion, he is then hit by a truck.  That leads us though to this amazing scene where he finally realizes how much he loves the lady of his life.  So much so that he doesn't pray to get her back, but rather that she will be happy, no matter what that means.

Are you ready for that kind of prayer?  "Lord, I want other people to be happy, no matter what it costs me."  That's what making Jesus the King of our lives is about.  Jesus showed us by example with his Disciples.   He washed their feet.  Then he said, this is what you must do for one another.  Jesus, the King of the entire Universe... humbled himself to serve others.  We as His adopted brothers, as co-heirs to the Kingdom, as Disciples of Christ... we must do the same.

Find some time today to listen to God's voice.  Then, as Mary would tell you, "Do whatever he tells you."  Serve him.  Serve one another.  If every Christian began to do this, we could truly fulfill that first reading in which all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.