Is Jesus in charge of your life?

Note: To help you prepare for the Feast of Christ the King on Nov. 21, 2021, I give you a sneak peak of my reflection for an upcoming issue of the The Lanterian.

            How much does Jesus reign in your heart?

            If we are honest, we realize that Jesus does not reign. Rather, something else (money, comfort, sports, sexuality or addiction) sits on that throne. Worse, this usurper has not brought peace and order. Frustration, confusion and loneliness fester under a pretty façade of pleasure. Social media further strengthens this façade and allows us to shoot painful verbal arrows from behind it.

            Amid such arrows from the Pharisees, Jesus tells Pilate, “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth” (Jn 18:37).

            Pilate mocks Jesus by asking, “What is truth?” (v. 38). But only truth can be the principle to organize one’s life. In Wonder Woman 1984, the heroine’s aunt tells her: “No true hero is born from lies.” Without the truth, a life cannot be truly good and heroic because Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life instructs and empowers us to integrate every part of ourselves. The intellect guides the will, which oversees our passions. Any hurts and sins in life we bring to Jesus for healing. In the late 14th century, Julian of Norwich describes in her book Showings or Revelations this interior harmony as Jesus as king ruling over a city. Pope Francis describes this ordering as part of human ecology, ordering the world around us under Jesus’ vision and rule of mutual self-giving love. “Human beings cannot be expected to feel responsibility for the world unless, at the same time, their unique capacities of knowledge, will, freedom and responsibility are recognized and valued” (Laudato Si’, 118).

            How much does Jesus reign in your heart?

            Stop and imagine how much better your life would be with Jesus in control of your heart. Take five or six deep breaths. Can you sense the stress and burdens melting away? Tense parts in your body unwind. Place yourself in the loving hands of God the Father. You remain grounded in peace, love and security although your world might be hectic. Would you like more of that? The first step is to give Jesus all your worries and concerns. Don Dolindo Ruotolo’s Novena of Surrender to the Will of God provides this quick prayer when life becomes too much:

“O Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
take care of everything!”

            I have prayed this often when studies, papers and projects seemed impossible to complete. Every time, a solution appeared that gave me enough space and time to finish everything. Jesus is true to His word: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Mt 6:33).

            How much does Jesus reign in your heart?

            The choice is before us. Either we mock Jesus like Pilate did or we listen to His word and allow Jesus to reign as our true king and leader.

            Open the center of your heart to him and allow the King to take possession of His Kingdom.

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