AREN’T YOU THE MESSIAH?
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe ©
My dear encountered couples:
We celebrate on this last Sunday of the Church liturgical year the feast of Christ the King. In our gospel Jesus is referred to as a king. The title over his head as he hung upon the cross read “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” But the people referred to him as something much more important. They referred to him as the “Messiah of God, the chosen one.” Even one of the criminals hanging on a cross next to Jesus addressed him by that title, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Then save yourself and us.”
That’s what a messiah is. A savior, a liberator, a deliverer. Jesus by his divinity and by his being the Son of God can claim kingship not only over Earth but over all creation. He is our savior, he is the savior of our world. Jesus is your savior, your own personal savior. He came to free you from sin and from the Evil One, the Father of Sin. Jesus came to deliver all of us from Satan and his kind. He is the promised one of God, the Messiah, the anointed one, sent into the world to save us, to save you. “Aren’t you the Messiah?” asked the criminal hanging on the cross next to Jesus. The answer most assuredly is, “YES!”
That’s sort of what we look for when we elect a president, don’t we? We look for a savior from whatever we believe we need saving from. Do we get one when the voting is over? Do we get a savior for our country? I’m sure we’ll all agree that’s a matter of opinion. But I’m afraid no matter how good any president or other elected officials might be, most of them fall far short of what we would like them to be. That’s not only because some of those elected are in it for themselves and they don’t care about you and me, but because they are only human. Jesus is human, but he is God, the Son of God. And he can fulfill even more than our needs and hopes.
A person can take over leadership, not for the benefit of others but merely for his or her own gain. Whereas a true messiah is interested more in others than in himself, a king might be after only what benefits himself. History demonstrates that quite clearly. Many a king and queen, president and prime minister, dictator and fuhrer desired their positions for personal gain only. Blessed are they who seek those titles for the good of others.
Does any of us here ever want to be the top honcho? Would you like to be president, senator, representative, or be nominated to the Supreme Court? Would you like to be governor, mayor, or have a seat on the city council? How about the coach of an NBA Basketball team? Think you could do a better job than those who are? How would you like to be president of the parish council, or chairperson of the parish picnic? Maybe in charge of the parish finances? “Why?” is the question. Why do any of us want to be head of anything? History and experience teach that often much grief, disappointment, and ridicule await those who desire to be leader of the band.
People want top job positions for a large number of reasons. But they could all probably be listed under one of two categories: Those who want to be head person for the good of others; those who want to be head person for the good of themselves. There can be degrees of each of those, of course. Like how much for the good of others, how much for the good of myself - maybe a bit of each.
We all need to examine our motives when we seek positions of influence and power so we can get a pretty good picture of what type of person we really are deep inside. How much are we being like Christ who gave his life for the good of others? Are we really interested in helping and repairing, saving and rescuing? Are we really interested in making life better for anybody? And how far are we willing to go in doing so?
If we suspect we want a top position in order to satisfy our own ego, better our own reputations, wield more power and make more money, we had better think twice. For the person who seeks his own benefit will in the end find himself with nothing.
Jesus warned us of that more than once: “Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” “What profit would a man show if he were to gain the whole world and destroy himself in the process?” “The first will be last and the last will be first.”
Maybe you want to be a teacher, maybe the principal of the school. Maybe you want to be a doctor, or the director of the hospital. Maybe you want to be a lawyer, the district attorney. Maybe you want to be priest and pastor, nun and mother superior. Why? That’s the question you must ask yourself. The answer is essential to your eternal salvation. If you desire any position whatsoever that touches the lives of others, be sure you are mainly doing it for those others, or don’t do it at all until you purify your intentions. God knows all your motives for doing anything. We might be able to fool others; we can never fool God.
Jesus is King and Messiah, our king and messiah, the only king and messiah who can really do what we need and hope for. Let us never forget that. Let us never place the burden of messiaship upon anyone else’s shoulders. No human being can be expected to step into the shoes of Christ and give us heaven on earth. We are all to try to do what we can for one another, but we are all to look to Christ for the completion and perfection of our efforts. Jesus works through each of us to help one another, but only He Himself in the spirit and in the flesh can totally satisfy us.
St. Augustine has said it best for us in just one short sentence: “OUR HEARTS ARE RESTLESS, O LORD, UNTIL THEY REST IN YOU!”
Jesus is your king, your savior, your Messiah. Place all your dreams and your hopes in his hands. You won’t be disappointed!