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  My Witness

Vol. 1, No. 4, November, 1996

Letting Jesus Be Lord! How? Part 1
by Sr. Brigid Meierotto, S.N.C.

Sister Brigid This is the second in a series of articles entitled: "You Are Invited to a Profound Interior Renewal." We repeat the quote from the Vatican II Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity:

"Since the whole Church is missionary, and the work of evangelization the fundamental task of the people of God, this Sacred Synod invites all to undertake a profound interior renewal so that being vitally conscious of their responsibility for the spread of the Gospel they might play their part in missionary work among the nations" (*35, Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity).

In the summer issue of MY WITNESSES we saw that the first step in this undertaking is our decision to surrender to Jesus as Lord in our life. To surrender to the Lordship of Jesus means that we become servants of Jesus, letting the Holy Spirit have His way in our lives.

The question "how?" is asking, "what means do I use to accomplish this, what method, what is the way?" Let us begin to look.

St. Peter, in Acts 2:1 6-39, gives a discourse to the Jews, explaining to them what has just happened. It is Pentecost! Peter, who was afraid before, is now filled with the Holy Spirit and speaks boldly about who this Jesus of Nazareth is: "Let all the house of Israel, therefore, know assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified" (vs. 36).

What is the response of those who hear him? They believe! "Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter... 'Brethren, what shall we do?' And Peter said to them: 'Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"' (vs. 37f).

The means for letting Jesus be Lord of our life are given in this witness of Peter: "And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21; Ro. 10:9).

The New Testament speaks of salvation in three ways: we are initially saved when we turn to Jesus and are baptized; we continue to be saved (delivered, set free) from the bondage of the world, the flesh and the devil as we strive to be in union with the Lord Jesus by daily dying to our selfish self (Ro. 5:10; 2 Tm.2:9); and we are finally and fully saved on the last day (1 Pt. 4:18) when we meet the Lord face to face, and the Father, seeing in us the image of His Beloved Son Jesus, accepts us!

How to let Jesus be Lord? First, hear and believe the Good News of Jesus - accept God the Father's loving will that brings Jesus to suffer, die and rise again in order to make a New Covenant with us in His own Blood, pouring out His Spirit, bringing us to repentance, to the forgiveness of our sins.

The way to let Jesus be Lord in our life, is to accept Jesus as the Way. Not the way in the sense of what we walk on, nor the way in the sense of method (how-to), but, the Way in the sense of being.

You watch someone put their whole self into an action, and the person and the action become one, and you say to the person: "Wow, that's the way!" How let Jesus be Lord in our life? Accept Him as the center of our being, and begin slowly to experience Jesus as personal to us, as present to us, as the power of life within us.

Jn. 1:12 reads: "But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God." How let Jesus be Lord? John is telling us that we are given the Holy Spirit to empower us to become children of God.

Becoming like a child is not only a condition for greatness in the Kingdom, it is the only way to enter into the kingdom (cf. Mt. 18:3f; Mk. 10:15; Lk. 18:17).

What is a child like? In the law of the time of Jesus, a child was not a person in the full legal sense, but was the property of the parents, having no power of self-assertion or independent action, having no claims to personal rights. How let Jesus be Lord? Become like a child, give up our very self (Mt. 16:24).

How to let Jesus be Lord? Become like Jesus: "Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men" (Phil. 2:5ff). Jesus became as a child, not acting independently, but doing only the will of the Father (Jn. 4:34).

Jesus is able more and more to be Lord in our lives as we ask the Holy Spirit for the power to become children, and we take upon ourselves the spirituality of the anawirm, the poor of Yahweh, who knew their powerlessness and so placed their trust in the Lord, waiting on him. St. Francis of Assisi lived under the Lordship of Jesus in an outstanding way. He took for his own the spirituality of the anawirn, the poor of Yahweh.

We have considered two "how-to's" of letting Jesus be Lord of our lives; both of which actually blend into one:

first, to accept Jesus as the center of our life, personal, present, and the power of our life;

second, to accept the power of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to become a child of God-denying our very self, seeing our own insignificance and therefore relying totally on the Lord who will work through us His will, His values.


As a help to making this teaching your own, I provide here some helps for your prayer reflection called, "Meeting the Lord Jesus." The scripture passage, Phil. 2:5ff is referred to in the article.

First: Reread the article, not from far away, but take it into yourself like you inhale the fragrance of a lovely rose, letting the message of the Lord for you, touch you.

Second: Prepare for your prayer reflection in this way: stand before the Father, realize that He sees you, love Him, open yourself to be moved, to receive His Word, to be embraced by His love - EXPECT IT - pray the Our Father.

Pray: "Most loving Father, in the name of Jesus our Lord, I beg you to fill me with your Holy Spirit that my imagination, my memory, my thoughts, the intentions of my will, my whole person during this time be given over to your praise, in deepest love for you, and for your service."

Third: Take your Bible now and prayerfully read Phil. 2:5ff, putting yourself into the scene. Use your emotions, your feelings, your understanding; think what the Lord is saying to you personally as you hear Paul speak.

Fourth: Now choose your answers to the following questions, letting the Spirit of Jesus reveal to you where you are in becoming like Jesus, becoming a child of God.

1.  That is my mind, what is my desire, where is my heart:

a) I'm Number One!
b) I can't stand being interrupted.
c) when I finally get my way-I'm unhappy.
d) I just have to depend on Jesus.
e) other ________________________________
2.  I feel that the Lord is asking me to:
a) stop fighting Him.
b) cool it - He's in charge and will act.
c) believe in His love for me.
d) step out and risk giving.
e) other ________________________________
3.  With this new understanding of the relationship between the Lord Jesus and yourself, write a prayer to Him praising, thanking, and asking Him for what you need.

A Prerequisite for Effective Evangelization drawn from this article:

Accept the power of the Holy Spirit in your life; ask for the power to become a child of God, to see your own insignificance and to rely totally on the Lord to work in and through you powerfully through His Holy Spirit.

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