Who is Jesus Christ to us? We see him as a healer, lover, defender of Truth, God, man and carpenter. He was poor, meek and humble, patient and merciful. However, when he needed to be he was stern, passionate and even angry at times. He was an authoritative leader. He gave orders and commands. He rebuked people. He built and led an army against evil. How often do we view Christ as our King? We know he is patient and merciful and we take advantage of those qualities when we sin and make mistakes. But do we treat Christ as our King and give him authority to command us? When he rebukes us and disciplines us do we react as we would if we were rebelling against our parents or do we submit to the authority of our King? Are we the type that doesn’t like to be told what to do? Are we the type that loves our individuality and views leadership and authority as an obstruction to our freedom?
Basic military training is focused entirely on getting rid of individuality and forcing trainees to work as a team in order to be successful. The first thing you realize at basic training is that you must submit to the chain of authority and leadership. As a trainee you are on the bottom of the totem pole so everyone else besides other trainees has the authority to tell you what to do and what you can’t do. They tell you when you wake up, when you can eat, when you can scratch your face, when you can shower and when you can go to sleep. You are told what to do every hour of your day for almost nine weeks straight. However, no one is forced to join the military. Everyone who joins the military willingly submits themselves to this training and to the authority that is imposed on them. They do so because they know the benefits that they will receive once they complete the mission. They do so because they know that they have to in order to be successful. There are a lot of things that we submit to and sacrifice in order to achieve what we are looking to achieve. In sports we submit to discipline and training and we sacrifice personal time to work out, practice, and prepare for games. At work we go in earlier, stay later, keep our opinions to ourselves, take unfair treatment from our bosses or work hard to please them. We accept their decisions and submit to their authority all because we know we need to in order to be successful in our careers.
Do we have trouble giving the same recognition of authority to Jesus? Why?
Is it because what Jesus asks of us is so hard? He doesn’t ask us to shave our heads, run three miles a day or deprive us of sleep – like the military.
Is it because our hearts are stubborn and we know that if we obey his commands it will require a radical change of lifestyle?
Are there parts of my life where I do not give authority to Christ the King?
Are there certain teachings of the Catholic Church (ex: abortion, same-sex marriage, contraception) that I have problems submitting to?
Do I feel the need to have control over my life or do I feel like I can submit the will of Christ the King and allow him to command me, change the place where I serve, or deploy me into battle at any time?