Emmitsburg Council of Churches

Lord, Liar or Lunatic

Father John J. Lombardi

This is the "triple choice argumentation" which Dr. Josh McDowell, a famous Protestant apologist gives, based on early Christian sources. Upshot: either Jesus is really Lord-God, or he is a mere man consciously misleading people; or he is an irrational charlatan. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus calms the waves of the lake (St. Mk. 35-41). The major point of this Gospel, is to show Jesus Christ as Kyrios, Miracle worker, Lord: He has command over even Nature, which to early Jews and Greeks was a chaotic and un-tameable force.

Let’s Meditate on "The Three C’s": Commander – Lord = Kyrios – First and foremost we are called to a personal relationship with Christ before anyone or anything else. I once spoke at a drug treatment center about getting to Heaven and Jesus as Our Savior as The Way. After the talk a "recovering man" asked me, point blank: "Father, can you save me?" I responded, drop jaw: "I cannot, but Jesus can – let’s pray to Him," and we did. He was undoubtedly saved and made Jesus His God and Commander. He is our Savior (from sin, Hell and death) and Godly-Guide (in moral matters) & Divine Friend. I spoke another time about all the graces and blessing we have being Catholics and Christians, and another junkie said: "We’re saved by a personal relationship with Jesus." Amen brother!

Here are the ABC’s of Jesus as "Commander":

Adore­I recall seeing Mother Teresa’s sisters one morning I waiting for our pilgrimage group for Mass; we were late. All six of them were on the floor, in 25 degree temperature prostrate on the floor before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament . they were adoring Him because He is God and Savior and Divine Friend. How about you?

Believe: everything He teaches. St Peter believed when the Lord Jesus said He was the "bread form heaven" and many Jews stopped believing in Jesus. St Peter said : "Lord., to whom shall we go, you have the words of everlasting life." (Cf. Jn. 6). Do you believe everything Jesus and His Church teaches? Frankly, there was a time I didn’t--even in the seminary and afterwards. But, because f Grace and other Catholics and the compelling witness of the saints­I did believe and DO believe in all the Lord’s teachings, even though they may sometimes be difficult­after all, they are the Lord Jesus’ teachings, God’s­our "Commander".

Channel graces to others: we care called to ‘share" Jesus our Lord and Commander with those we meet. When I went to visit a sick man who tried to take his life I asked Michael if he wanted to come. So we went together and visited the man and at the end of our meeting Michael asked: "Would you like us to pray over you?" we did and I learned to be bolder, more charitable in prayer by this young man! A few days later Michael went to Mother Teresa’s home in Washington DC to help the poor, sick and dying. Thing is: before going he went to morning mass in his parish and spontaneously asked a few people if they wanted to come. Michael ended up bring five other young people with him and they, we, all had a great time. Thing is: Michael is in college and wants to become a priest­to make Jesus his commander and to share Christ with others.

Further, or more deeply, let’s also ask Jesus to calm the storms within us, any anger or jealousy or gluttony lust – and to remember- and practice thru daily prayer. Fr Lorenzo Scupoli talks of calming the inner storms of jealousy, lust and anger by each day preparing for the day ahead and being ready when any challenge­inner or outer­appears and thereby being ready versus caught off-guard and allowing Jesus to tame this rising storm you saw approaching. Don’t forget: He is Master and Lord – Cling to the King.

Cosmic – Lord of all creation. Many today are "turning green" – and, we remind folks – thru Jesus’ creation was made, and He is Master of it: "Thru Him all things were made (read the beautiful hymn Col. 1:15-18). We love God’s Revelation to us in our created world – God is the Artist and the Universe is His work of art" (St. Thomas Aquinas). Whether there is global warming or not – remember that Jesus is in charge. The purpose of creation is to glorify God, to balance mankind and serve our purpose – we are called to steward it – and appropriately subdue it. Avoid the extremes today: worship of creation, or the outright abuse of it. Our Religion is not environmentalism but, worship of the Creator and proper use of His creation. Homework: Read the Book of Ephesians.

Unfortunately Christendom ­ wherein Christ is purveyor of all, even public culture, is kinda’ impossible today because:

  • Jihadists- who mix religion and government­like promoting little-girl suicide bombers and shariah law imposed on unwilling Christians-- certainly don’t inspire to Westerners the possibility of a religion and government mix or Christ and culture.
  • Antichristian­remember the crusades?­ even with all the myths about them and the inquisition, many see any attempt at mixing Christ and culture especially from Catholics as automatically suspicious.
  • Materialsim-relativism are dominant today and so there is not enough ground swell for making Christ King of our Culture.

Upshot: as stated above, not matter how the winds of change and storms are outside us­whoever is president or whatever form of government we have­in our hearts and sacramental lives and in our souls­which no one can enter except God­Christ is always King!!

Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi