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  My Witness

Vol. 2, No. 1, January, 1997

Letting Jesus Be Lord! Part 2
by Sr. Brigid Meierotto, S.N.C.

Sister Brigid This is the third 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 fall issue of MY WITNESSES, we talked about two important "how-to's" of letting Jesus be Lord in our lives. First, to accept Jesus as the center of our lives. Second, to accept the power of the Holy Spirit into our lives, enabling us to become children of God. In this issue we are going to consider two more very important "how-to's" of Letting Jesus Be Lord!

What is the third "how-to" of letting Jesus be Lord in our lives? Call on the power of the Lord Jesus to come forth in our daily lives in the concrete, difficult situations. "I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies" (Psalms 18:3).

Because the Lord is able to save us in whatever way we need saving, it would seem that calling upon Him in tight situations should not be difficult. I can tell you, however, from my own experience that this act of "calling on the Lord" does not come automatically. It requires developing the habit of turning our attention to the Lord, and calling out within ourselves, "Help me, Lord Jesus. Come forth in power!"

We need first of all to remember to call on the Lord. Let me ask you this. When you are in a difficult, emotional situation, how much do you remember of what you ought to do? Take the example of the woman who finished Karate lessons for self-defense. When the golden opportunity came for her to try out her newly paid-for-skills, she hits the man over the head with her umbrella. Obviously, she needed more training.

It is no different in our spiritual life. We need spiritual exercise-training time for our will power, our thoughts, our memory, our imagination, and our emotional life. This training time is usually referred to as a life of prayer. It involves praying the Scriptures, celebrating the Eucharist, receiving the other sacraments, serving one another, loving our neighbor as ourself, and denying our very self! "Then Jesus told his disciples, 'It any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it' " (Mt. 16:24f).

Secondly, as we begin trying every day to remember to call on the Lord to come forth in power in us, we may find that we need something more than memory. What is this something more? It is the desire to change. It may be that the Lord can't come forth in power in our life because we won’t let Him. For example, He is love, and so He wants to act in us with a generous Spirit of self-giving, but because we want to be selfish, He is unable to come forth. Or, He is patience, and we don't want to be patient!

It is for each of us to examine ourselves on where we are in our desire to become more like Jesus. What this means concretely is that we have to change.

What a wonderful change it will be! People will look at us and be awe-struck, wondering how we can act this way. How is it that we can be loving and kind in these difficult situations? It is the Lord's power at work in us. What they will see is the fruit of that power, the fruit of the Spirit, which is: "...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal. 5:22-24).

Let us remember, then, to call on the Lord Jesus to come forth in us in power, so that we will bear the fruit of the Spirit in the difficult situations, and witness to everyone that Jesus is Lord in our life!

For your consolation and encouragement, reflect and pray over the following two Scripture passages. Acts 4:1-31 tells of Peter and John and the other disciples calling on the Lord to empower them to speak about Jesus with boldness. Rom. 10:12-13 brings out that when we call upon the Lord in faith, He will come through.

The fourth and last "how-to" of letting Jesus be Lord of our lives is: to praise and glorify Him for coming forth in our lives, enabling us to live in Him in the daily concrete situations. "...we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory" (Eph. 1:12).

Maybe you are asking, "How do I go about praising the Lord? To answer that let me ask, "How does anyone praise any person or anything?" Let us consider how we would praise a magnificent sunrise that we had the good fortune of seeing one morning. We would likely do these three things:

  • LOOK AT IT, unable to take our eyes away, so as to draw it into ourselves and not lose it;

  • WALK AWAY FROM IT, but carry it with us, still warmed by its splendor;

  • SPEAK OF IT TO OTHERS, unable to keep silent about it. filled with the desire to have others share the radiance we have experienced. We praise the Lord in very much the same way:

  • LOOK AT HIM, unable to take our eyes away and try to draw Him into ourselves and allow Him to draw us into Himself;

  • WALK AWAY from our encounter with the Lord, but truly carry Him with us, still warmed by His splendor, by His steadfast love;

  • SPEAK OF HIM TO OTHERS, unable to keep silent about His great love, filled with the desire to have others share in His loving Presence, Person and Power.

MEETING THE LORD JESUS

As a help in making this teaching your own, I suggest that you memorize the following three verses of Scripture, which exemplify the third and fourth "how-to " of letting Jesus be Lord! Write out each verse for yourself. Put each on a small card and carry it with you.

  1. "I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies" (Ps. 18:3).

  2. "...the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved' " (Rom. 10:12-13).

  3. "...we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory" (Eph. 1:12).

Two Prerequisites for Effective Evangelization drawn from this article:

Call on the power of the Lord Jesus to come forth in your daily life in the concrete, difficult situations.
Praise and glorify the Lord for the mighty deeds that He does in your daily life.

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