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  My Witness

Vol. 2, No. 2, April, 1997

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

Sister Brigid This is the fourth 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 winter issue of MY WITNESSES, we talked about the third and fourth "how-to's " of letting Jesus be Lord of our lives:

  • to remember to call on the power of the Lord Jesus to come forth in our daily lives in the concrete, default situations.
  • to praise and glorfy the Lordfor the mighty work that He does do in our daily lives.

The question to answer now is this: "Does striving to let Jesus be Lord have any influence on my relationship with others? When we accept Jesus as the Center of our existence, we are no longer an isolated individual in the world. We are no longer alone, but are immediately brought into relationship with all those who have said YES to His Lordship. This is Good News!

St. Paul proclaims this clearly: "Now you are in the body of Christ and individually members of it" (1 Cor. 12:27). Think about your body for a moment...lt has many parts or members and yet, all these parts form a oneness. The only time a part of your body may feel like it does not belong is when it is sick or injured. For example, a broken toe feels very foreign to the rest of the body.

How well the analogy of the body and its members fit the body of Christ of which we are members and He is the Head! We share the same life, the life of the Spirit of Jesus, the love of the Father for us.

This is why Jesus gives us the new commandment of love: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12). Being in the Lord, we are to live by the power of His Spirit of Love. This is the basis for how we are to relate to each other.

We are to love one another.

St. Paul puts this very practically: "So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my by by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus..." (Phil. 2:1-5).

I invite you to reflect long and hard upon this scripture passage. The next time you are tempted to put someone in their place, just because you're feeling a surge of self-importance, may the Spirit of Love bring this passage to your mind.

This is certainly not the way of the world. It is the way of 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. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross" (Phil. 2:5-8).

Since we have chosen to be in Jesus, then our way of life has to be His way. We must not seek to pamper our selfish desires. We must be humble, selfless, and concerned for one another to the point of laying down our life for the other. The way of Jesus requires of us that our selfishness die (Mt. 16:24-26).

The Lord is telling us in the passage from Philippians to relate to one another as He relates to us. Jesus became our servant. Jesus gives us His Holy Spirit so that we, as members of His Body, can be empowered to serve one another.

Because this way of relating to one another is of the essence of our life in Jesus, we will look at another scripture passage. "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all" (Eph. 4:1-6).

St. Paul frequently brings out this thought: if we have accepted Jesus as Lord, then we should be living the new life that His death has brought us, the life in the Spirit. The Spirit is the Person who moves within us to bring about peace and unity. When Jesus is our Lord, we are brought together into a seven-fold oneness:

one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all.

Another important factor in how we, as followers of Jesus, should relate to each other: "But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's. gift...And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:7,11-12).

The mystery of the unity that is ours in the Lord is that our oneness is not sameness, but diversity, creativity, uniqueness! There is diversity because each member of the Body of Christ has a unique, personal relationship with the Lord. Each member has received different gifts from the Spirit, to build up the Body in a unique way. Where the Spirit is at work, there is never a dull moment!

Is there some special word that would describe this humble, servant relationship that we have as members of the Body of Christ? The New Testament uses the Greek word "agape" or "unconditional love" to describe it. It is a love based not on attraction, needs, or desires but on commitment, a commitment to the Lord Jesus which brings us into commitment to one another. It is the Spirit who enables us to love both when it is convenient and inconvenient. The greatest gift of the Spirit is this love! The world that we live in today requires massive doses of this unconditional love. The divorce rate is just one statistic that points to this need.

From whom will the world receive this committed love, this unconditional love? From you and me. Jesus gives us this command: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation" (Mk. 16:15).

Jesus is the first and greatest evangelizer who brings life without end. He sends us forth to proclaim Him to the world so that all men and women may have this life and have it to the full. What kind of answer will we give to the Lord if we fail to reach out? We have freely received, let us freely give!

Meeting The Lord Jesus

Here are some helps to make this reflection your own:

First: Read the article one more time, noting where you are moved by the Lord, perhaps with a sense of awakening.

Second: Prepare yourself for prayer: Stand before the Father, realize that He sees you and loves you for who you are. 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 be for your praise."

Third: Take your Bible and prayerfully read Phil. 2:1-11. Ask yourself where you are in your relationship with Jesus, in your relationship with others. Remember, the truth often times hurts.

Fourth: Choose your answers to the following questions.

  1. As for being of the same mind as my family:

    a)  never!
    b)  we have peace - we don't talk!
    c)  I have to work at holding my tongue every minute!
    d)  I have no idea where they're coming from!
  2. If I am to have the mind of Jesus:
    a)  then I'm not ready for conversion, I'll be nobody's servant!
    b)  I have a long way to grow. Come, Holy Spirit!
    c)  I don't look to other folks' interests - I just take care of my own first!
    d)  trying to picture certain people as better than me gets me right in the stomach!

Fifth: For as long as it takes, pray each day, Phil. 2:1-11. The power of the Word will bear fruit in your life.

Prerequisites for Effective Evangelization drawn from this article:

HUMILITY: serve Jesus in others as He serves me.
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: love when convenient and inconvenient.

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