Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
We can be so used to saying “Lord Jesus,” that we forget that “lord” is not a name, but a title. A lord is someone who exercises a certain dominion (and perhaps also bears a certain responsibility) over others. Though most people in the world are no longer governed by political systems in which they owe allegiance to a person whom they may call “lord,” there are still many situations in which we can recognize a relationship akin to lordship today. One of the situations that most positively indicates what it means to be a lord is the relationship between good parents and their children. Good parents—those who properly protect and care for their young children—exercise a sort of lordship over them: their children may rightly be expected to obey their parents’ legitimate requests, and may be chastised if they refuse to do so.
Once we recognize what it means to say that Jesus is “Lord,” we might ask ourselves whether we truly believe that “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:11; cf. Rm 10:9). In the first place, do I submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ in my own life and allow myself to be guided by this dominion like Mary, who says, “let it be done unto me according to your word” (Lk 1:38)? This is the most essential thing, but today’s gospel reveals that the lordship of Jesus extends even further: “with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out” (Lk 4:36). We see, then, that Jesus Christ is Lord, not only over those who willingly follow him, but even over those who oppose him. The beloved disciple was keenly aware of this lordship, which becomes especially apparent in the passion account in John’s gospel.
For us, this is good news! As John Paul II points out in Memory and Identity, Christ’s lordship means that there is a limit to evil, whereas God’s goodness and love knows no bounds. Jesus Christ is your Lord, whether you want him to be or not, but how much greater and more wonderful our lives are when we accept his lordship: what he offers through his dominion is nothing other than life eternal, which begins in this life!