One Truth

The New Year has begun. As we continue to celebrate the Christmas Season on this Ninth Day, we are drawn to reflect on the truth that the earthly Jesus, the child and son born of Mary, is truly the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ. It is common in today’s society to accept all views as equally valid or true, because many do not see truth as absolute. This is a most insidious creation of Satan, the Father of Lies, for he knows that God himself IS Truth! Thus, if anyone’s perspective or opinion is to be understood as truth, well, there cannot be an unchanging, infinite, eternal God; plain and simple.

In John’s First Letter, we hear, “I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth. Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist. No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.” (NAB, 1JN 2:21-23) We live in a time of lies. We are drowning in lies, and worse, we have accepted that lies disguised as “personal truths” are ok. Love compels us to the Truth, and if we are to accept lies as truth, we have denied love as well, for to truly love our brother or sister means to desire the very best for them, and that is the Truth that is Jesus Christ and his teachings handed down from generation to generation from the Apostles.

Father, give me strength and courage to love my neighbor and myself with the love which comes from you. You are Love and you are Truth. May my life always be one of compassion, forgiveness, and mercy, as I live out and proclaim the Truth of Jesus Christ in the world. Let me not be distracted by the lies that are rampant today, but let your light shine into these places of darkness so that Truth and Love may prevail. Amen.

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Son of David, Heal Me

Matthew’s Gospel tells us that “as Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, ‘Son of David, have pity on us!’” (NAB, MT 9:27) After a short dialogue, Jesus healed them of their blindness, saying, “’Let it be done for you according to your faith.’” (9:29) The term “Son of David” used by the blind men demonstrates that, while they may not have been able to see in the physical world, they saw with certain clarity the spiritual reality of Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. “Son of David” was the title used by Jews for the future king, the Anointed One, the Christ, who would be a descendent of David, and who would unite God’s people, establish a new temple, and usher in an era of peace. The blind men in the Gospel see that Jesus is the Christ spoken of by the prophets, who would also bring healing and reconciliation to the world.

Almighty God, increase my faith. Take away my spiritual blindness so that I may recognize you as the Anointed One, the Christ, my Lord, and my Savior. I cry out to you, Jesus, from my confusion and darkness. Hear my voice, Son of David, have pity on me and heal my restless soul. Amen.

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Jesus Christ, Lord & King

Roman execution by crucifixion was absolutely and grotesquely brutal. The executioners clearly wanted to make a public display of humiliation and torture for those convicted of various crimes. The hope was not only to punish the offenders, but to deter those who might consider certain criminal behaviors. To that end, next to those being crucified was displayed the charges for which the condemned had been convicted, and recall that for Jesus, Pilate had the tablet inscribed, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” (JN 19:19)

According to the Roman Procurator, Jesus was executed because he was a “king.” The crucifixion, perhaps the most well-known event of salvation history, established Jesus as King. Catholics and many Protestant communities celebrate today as the Feast Day of Christ the King. It is the day in which we recognize his supremacy over us and all of creation. It is the opportunity to celebrate as a community, that absolute and total dominion of God.

In the letter establishing this Holy Feast, we read, “If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth,” then Jesus should reign as King of our mind, our will, our heart, and our body. (cf., Quas primas, #33) We say that we are followers of Christ, that we believe in Jesus, but do we really submit to the one who was ruthlessly betrayed, viciously tortured, and horrifically executed for being our King? Hail, to our King!

Jesus, my Lord and my King, make me a faithful and obedient subject in mind, body, will, and heart. Help me to realize your dominion and supremacy over me and all of creation, and make me loyal in my service to you through my love of neighbor. Amen.

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