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  My Witness

Vol. 2, No. 3, July, 1997

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

Sister Brigid This is the fifth 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 spring issue of MY WITNESSES, we talked about how to relate to one another when we proclaim Jesus as Lord of our lives; The love we are called to give is unconditional love (agape). And we are empowered to do this by the Holy Spirit who enables us to love when convenient and inconvenient. Comminnent to the Lord Jesus is the basis of this love.

Living out this love-relationship is calied faith. Letting Jesus Christ be Lord is living a life of faith. Through faith in Jesus Christ we are brought into right relationship with God. Slowly we begin to grow in our relationship by putting the "things" in our life into proper perspective. St. Paul writes: "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith." (Phil. 3:8-9).

These words of St Paul raise a question in my mind. I trust that they raise a similar thought in you: Do I count everything as refuse, as garbage, except knowing Christ Jesus my Lord?"

To make this very practical, consider the following situation: I'm having lunch with some friends, and we see a mutual neighbor seated at another table. The conversation turns to idle gossip about this woman and her family.

To know Jesus as my Lord in this situation is for me to count the satisfied feeling of being-better-than, the security of being "in" with certain friends, as garbage. With a prayer to the Holy Spirit I need to come forth in power to say something like: "You know I'm learning that I have no grounds on which to judge anyone. I've had the experience of being misjudged by others and being forced to be an outsider I don't want to do that to (name). I'm sure that none of you do either."

Perhaps one of your friends will say, "Since when did you get so moral, so religious?" Her question is meant to put you in your place, to degrade you because she feels that you have exhorted her. The truth of your exhortation has made her defensive. Since you are trying to put on the mind of Christ, you realize that this is actually an opportunity for you to evangelize, and you say, "My life is different since I've come to know Jesus personally". Your friends will probably be caught off guard and become silent at first. You discern by their responses whether you should go on to share.

When we first begin to seek Jesus as Lord of our life we are very weak in faith. Our lack of faith is recognized in such situations like the one described, and we become painfully aware that perhaps we are unable to speak out for the Lord. The "self" demands to have its own way: "security, " "being better than," "being in." The problem is that we do not know Jesus well enough to trust Him to be our security, to be our Lord. We are young and weak in faith.

Abraham set an example for us of progress in faith. "No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his taith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised" (Rom. 4:20-21).

We need to step out in faith ahd trust that the power of the Lord will come forth. A good daily prayer for pursuing faith is a paraphrase of 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12: "Gracious Father, with thanksgiving may I walk my faith more abundantly, and live my love for others. Fulfill my every good resolve and work of faith by your power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in me Amen, Alleluja"

It is quite evident from what has been said so far, that living this life of faith is really a combat. "Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses" (1 Timothy 6:1-2).

Faith itself is our defense, our protection in our struggle to let Jesus be Lord of our life. St Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God:

"Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance..." (Eph. 6:14-18).


Here are some helps to make this reflection your own:

First: Read back over the article, taking it in like a dry land takes in a gentle rain.

Second: Prepare yourself for prayer. Stand before the Father, realize that He looks upon you and loves you. 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 reread Philippians 3:8-9. Now choose your answers to the following questions:

  1. Where I stand in regard to counting every thing as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord is:
    a)  I don't know Jesus.
    b)  I find that I am attached to many things.
    c)  I do walk my faith in Jesus and live my love.
    d)  other _________________________________
  2. My attitude toward losing something that I consider very precious to me is:
    a)  if the Lord loved me, He wouldn't let this happen.
    b)  I guess the Lord knew I really didn't need this.
    c)  for me to lose this is a real suffering, but I trust the Lord to bring good out of evil.
    d)  other _________________________________
  3. For me to know Jesus my Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit is:
    a)  to follow His command of love rather than my hurt pride.
    b)  to choose to be silent rather than to speak unkindly.
    c)  to forgive others rather than to be impatient with them.
    d)  other _________________________________
  4. Since my holiness or righteousness depends on my faith in Jesus, I hereby resolve:
    a)  to pray daily for an increase of faith.
    b)  to put my trust in Jesus, not myself.
    c)  to give praise and glory to the Lord for any good that is in me.
    d)  other _________________________________
Prerequisites for Effective Evangelization drawn from this article:

Wear the shield of faith! (Eph. 6:14-18)

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