Solemnity of Christ the King. The point of Christianity is Jesus Christ. We easily forget this simple fact because we see the church building, the Ten Commandments, the Pope and the priests, and Sunday Mass, but we don’t see Jesus. Yet he is the the center of all of it. He became our model to show us how to live as human beings. He is also our friend who wants to walk with us, and the Suffering Servant Savior who died to free us from sin. He sends us the Spirit of Love and Be Loved who makes us children of the Loving Father and imitators of the Son. Living as he lived and loving as he loved, Christians are little Christs — and that’s the point of Christianity. (21 Nov 2010)
Every Sunday we stand up and profess our faith. So often the words just rattle by without a thought. What does it really mean to believe in the God of Jesus Christ? Here are the three basic principles of Christianity.
The Loving Fatherhood of God
What kind of a being is God? God is an “all-consuming fire”, a warrior, Lord and master, Creator, the One, a gentle force, good. All these things are true. But what best describes God are the words Jesus taught us: Our Father. He loves his creatures, he wants to take care of them, and he invites us to bring our cares to him. Many times the struggles we face in life come from trying to do things ourselves when we really need the Father’s help. This is especially a problem for priests. Adam and Eve suspected that there might be something better out there; they wander away from God’s plan and discover pain, hurt and misery. Like a prodigal Son, we no longer deserve to be called God’s children (Luke 15:18). So the Son himself goes out looking for us.
The Suffering Servant Savior
God is One, but he is also three Persons. The first person is the Father, the second person is the Son. Jesus is truly God, and yet in his own infinite wisdom, he left the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven to become a man. As a real, honest-to-goodness human being, he knows our life from the inside. He has grandparents and relatives, cousins and friends. He knows the joy of a warm sunshine and the smell of fresh bread. He also knows what it is like to lose a father, to suffer, and to struggle to make ends meet. Ultimately, he becomes our perfect Model. He shows us what it means to be human. What does success look like? What is failure? How should I be spending my time and efforts? He shows us that success means to be a good Son of the Father. Success is to love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul, heart and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. To erase our Sin, he chooses to offer his life on the cross. Our Savior died for us, for you and for me. You may not be perfect, but you’re worth dying for.
The Spirit of Love and Be Loved
Forgiving our sins is not enough for God. He wants us to be his children and heirs. So through baptism he sends into our hearts the Third Person (Gal 4:6) who makes us true children of the Father. The Spirit allows us to accept the Fatherhood of God and rejoice in being his children. The Spirit also allows us to become adopted sons (Rom 8:15), and that means we are able to inherit His Kingdom of Heaven. If we are to be God’s children, we have to act like it. So we must watch the Son carefully and do as he does. We must forgive like he forgives, welcome the outcasts, reach out to the poor, and even cast out evil. Through the power of the Spirit we become little Christs. This is what it means to be called “Christian.”