thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
Readings may be found here
Jesus is Lord! Who among us would disagree? This truth is central to our lives as Christian disciples.
I wonder, though, if this truth is so obvious that we sometimes forget the profound consequences of proclaiming it?
Look to the readings today and you will see the challenges to our usual ways of thinking and acting as human beings. Remember that the original sin was rooted in the temptation to imagine ourselves the masters of our own fate, little gods as it were. Human beings are drawn to wealth, fame, worldly knowledge, and power over others. All these temptations whisper the lie that we are now secure, that we have life under control.
Then we look to the gospels and see that the one Who truly is God, Jesus, does not show any interest in any of these worldly temptations that so mesmerize us. Instead, He gives clear witness to the true power of self-surrendering love. This truth of God, breaking into the world is radical and revolutionary. And it requires a response. To know the truth of Jesus is to see our illusory values turned upside down.
Look at how Jesus challenges Nicodemus’s presumption. Nicodemus is a “teacher of Israel,” already decided in his view of the world and his narrow view of how God should offer salvation. Jesus must shake him out of that illusion and He begins to do so today. As Jesus prophesies today, this awakening will take time for Nicodemus as indeed he will only truly grasp the truth of Jesus after He has been lifted up on the cross.
Then consider the positive example of the Christian community in Acts. They live the truth that Jesus is Lord as a new kind of selflessness and life in communion grows in their hearts. They understand that faith in Jesus, to call Him Lord, is to demand a new and renewed way of living in imitation of the One Who offered Himself in Love and Trust. And this new way of living is not some new code of required behavior, it is a restoration of these Christians to the image and likeness of the God of Love.
You and I are experiencing a moment of terrible crisis. We have so many fears and with those fears comes the perennial temptation to turn in on ourselves, to grasp at the illusion of power or security. The deeper truth is that the moment of fear is precisely the moment for trust and the unselfish gift of self for the sake of others. For Jesus is Lord. Our fate is in His loving hands. And to call Him Lord is to submit ourselves to His Law of Love.