Titles of the Lord

By | November 19, 2009

There are moments in the life of the Christian when non-believers, seekers or even fellow Christians will ask us more pointed questions about our relationship with Jesus Christ. They will ask us how we really know he’s alive or what has really done for us concretely? It is at these moments that the titles given to Jesus in the Gospels will be of particular help to us in expressing our

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Fr. Mark Vander Steeg

 relationship.

We may talk about how he is our Teacher, Healer, Savior, Master, Lord and God. Once these moments of conversation pass they may bring about a self examination as we find a voice saying to us, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” Imitating how others share their faith in Jesus is normal human behavior, but eventually the sharing must become our own based on our personal seeking and encountering of the Lord.

Life presents countless situations and struggles where we are forced to turn to the Lord like Pilate and ask him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” or “Are you the Savior, the Healer and Living Teacher … are you?” Spoken into the silent void that is often prayer, we then dare to let him be these things. We allow ourselves to be forgiven in reconciliation and experience peace for our past and hope for our eternal future.

We allow ourselves to be anointed in the sacrament and really do experience courage of soul. We allow ourselves to be led by the truth of his risen voice speaking through the church in matters of faith and morality and we find ourselves challenged and yet freed. We dare to worship him as God and find ourselves falling in love with this God who would do so much for us. We find ourselves wanting to be obedient and to serve this most beautiful humble sacrificial God who does not call us slaves but rather friends.

These titles of the Lord underline the all-encompassing manner that the Lord influences and forms the total Christian life. Coming to know him in these capacities takes our time and effort, assisted always by the complete grace and strength of God. Each Christian plays Pilate for awhile, questioning and wondering, but eventually we move to the category of disciple and, with the grace of God, remain in their company, or the Kingdom as it is called.

We stay in the Kingdom freely out of love; no one is forced, all are free. Its citizens mirror the Master by offering their lives for others in imitation of his offering, so that all might be gathered back and be one. “This is my body given up for you” is the mantra of preparation for the everlasting Kingdom. We say it to each other now so as to learn to perfectly say it to God forever. Then from him, one day, we will receive back all that our hearts have ever sought.

Questions for Reflection

1. What titles of Jesus has he been in my life?

2. What titles of Jesus challenge me?

3. To whom shall I manifest the Kingdom today?

 

Fr.Vander Steeg is pastor of St. Mary Parish, Greenville, and St. Edward Parish, Mackville.

 

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