The Lord of All was accused by men to be possessed. And what possessed them to say such a thing? That they themselves had become possessed by their possessions! The Jewish prelates and the Roman authorities had a vested interest in keeping the peace, subduing the criticisms, and maintaining the status quo. Christ blows all of that out of the water! Those who maintain that Christ was just a man are forced to admit that he was the greatest man. Those of us who know him for who he is must admit that He alone is the sacrificial lamb! Not only did the Lord come to serve, but he came to be served up!
This is what we do. We serve and are carved up; and what is left-over is very little. The feast is on us!
“If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing.” I am a good man. I’ve given my life to the Lord and I serve him twenty-four hours a day. I work hard – work long hours and for a small stipend. I give it my all. I give it my best. I am well liked and appreciated. I am loved by many.
I can say whatever I want. But in the end, if I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing. It is really not what I say about myself, or even what others say about me. It is what my Father in heaven will say to me!
Recently, I participated in a freshman retreat over at All Saints parish. While I was preparing for my talk, I walked through the halls and noticed some art work from Pre-K3 students. They must have been asked to draw self-portraits. Of course you can imagine what they looked like and what I saw - creatures from the bottom of the sea, amoebas, and other single-celled creatures from another era or age. Their self-portraits did not at all represent their true portrait or image. These kids were asked to do something they could not do. I understand the lesson, but then I got to thinking of teenagers. How many of them look in the mirror and see what no one else sees: ugliness, shortness, fatness. Many, too many, are disappointed at what they see. But they do not see what is truly there – what is real. They suffer from shortsightedness and an illness in their imagination. As adults, it only gets worse because we wait for others to tell us how good we look or how wonderful we are. So many prizes, awards, titles and certificates are given out every single year! But the praises and the acclaims are long in coming and in the end we make up our own, if we even bother doing so. The tragedy is this: The last person we ever seek an opinion from is the one we should have asked from the very beginning, the one who is from the very beginning. The one whose image and likeness I reflect. The question should always be, “How does God see me?”
“It is my Father who glorifies me!” I can attempt to draw my own portrait, but it will always come up short. I can look at myself in the mirror, but it will never reflect the soul, will and heart of the unique individual that stands before the telling glass! I can seek the affirmation of others by what I wear or by what I succeed in doing, but I will never fully comprehend the mystery of who I am until I allow the great I AM to reflect his image and likeness upon me. When that day comes, the Father will rejoice! “For the Father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.”