theROCK

The Chosen

main image

A few months ago, I was needing to let my brain quiet down for a bit and started looking for a brainless show to watch on TV. I recalled hearing about the series called “The Chosen,” so I searched for it. I watched the first episode, then the second. I am now in love with this series. For those that do not know what the series is, it is about the life of Jesus. As a child, I grew up watching the TV mini-series “Jesus of Nazareth,” which was the quintessential telling of the life of Jesus at the time. My brothers and I watched it every time it was on even though we knew how it would go. We even recorded it on our VHS so we could watch it whenever we wanted. (I know, I am dating myself terribly there and sounding like a total nerd.) When I began teaching, I took those VHS recordings to school and shared them with my students during Holy Week. I loved that I could quote Scripture while watching the Gospel come to life. “The Chosen” captures me in an entirely different way. The gospels scripted “Jesus of Nazareth.” It isn’t the same with “The Chosen” even though the gospel is there. It is more of the inspiration and guide than it is the script. I am finding myself falling in love with my faith all over again by watching it. The cast of characters that we all know have become so real, so human. I find myself laughing and crying while I watch. I am completely captivated by it all. What I am seeing is exactly how I imagined things to be when I take time to ponder the gospels. I am transported to a different place and find myself desperately wanting to be with Jesus. Is that weird? I am falling deeper in love with Jesus because of this show. My faith is being reinvigorated and restored. I highly recommend it.

Posted by Jill Fischer

Our Superhero

main image

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe! This sounds like a title for a superhero.  Jesus is our superhero!  In Dn. 7:1314, powerful language and strong adjectives are used that demonstrates a power and majesty that one would expect from a superhero:

As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;  all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.

In Revelations 1:5-8, Jesus is describe as "the faithful witness.” Being a faithful witness implies that He is not forefront and dominant but more supportive. In John 18:33-37, Jesus is shown as powerful and confident, but completely humble. There is a contrast to Jesus that challenges what it means to be a superhero by modern standards. Jesus doesn’t fight. Jesus doesn’t boast. Jesus doesn’t argue. Fighting, boasting, and arguing are all things that we would expect a superhero to do when confronting an enemy. We would expect a superhero to fight back against the tyranny and misguided justice being demonstrated at this point in the story.

Not our superhero! Jesus does exactly what He has taught us to do. He models surrender. He models dignity. He models integrity. Jesus participates in His trial, taking in stride all that He is being subjected to because He knows it is the will of the Father. He rises to the occasion in a manner that results in a much greater reward than what would have occurred had He fought back. He exudes a power and might beyond human understanding. Indeed, He did fight back by subjecting Himself to the wood of the cross. His defense was to succumb, thus dominate over all. Death gained reward, a reward of eternal life for all who believe in Him. Isn’t that what a superhero does, lays down their life to save others? Let’s give a triumphant cheer for Jesus Christ, King of the Universe!

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe! The feast day today sounds like the introduction for a superhero.  Jesus is our superhero, especially when watching the progression of how He is described from the first reading, to the second reading, to the gospel. The first reading uses very powerful language and strong adjectives that demonstrates a power and majesty that one would expect from a superhero:

As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;  all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.

The second reading starts to change the tone a little. While it references phrases from the first reading, the lead sentence, “Jesus Christ is the faithful witness,” shifts perspective. No longer is the Son of Man exuding power as we would expect from a superhero, but more of the humility that is indicative of the sidekick.  Being a faithful witness implies that He is not forefront and dominant but more supportive. This is a curious shift as the Gospel then shows Jesus powerful and confident, but completely humble. There is a contrast to Jesus that challenges what it means to be a superhero by modern standards. Jesus doesn’t fight. Jesus doesn’t boast. Jesus doesn’t argue. Fighting, boasting, and arguing are all things that we would expect a superhero to do when confronting an enemy. We would expect a superhero to fight back against the tyranny and misguided justice being demonstrated at this point in the story.

Not our superhero! Jesus does exactly what He has taught us to do. He models surrender. He models dignity. He models integrity. Jesus participates in His trial, taking in stride all that He is being subjected to because He knows it is the will of the Father. He rises to the occasion in a manner that results in a much greater reward than what would have occurred had He fought back. He exudes a power and might beyond human understanding. Indeed, He did fight back by subjecting Himself to the wood of the cross. His defense was to succumb, thus dominate over all. Death gained reward, a reward of eternal life for all who believe in Him. Isn’t that what a superhero does, lays down their life to save others? Let’s give a triumphant cheer for Jesus Christ, King of the Universe!

 

Following Jesus

main image

In the Gospel of Mark 10:17-27, we hear a story that often challenges me. We meet a young man who has always been a good person, asks what he must do to enter Heaven, and Jesus tells him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”  

You are lacking one thing. I know most days, I have more than one thing standing between me and following Jesus with my whole heart. 

Jesus goes on to invite the young man to “come, follow me” but instead of leaving his nets like Peter and Andrew when Jesus called them, this man goes away sad, because he has many possessions he does not want to give away. He is the only person in the Gospels who does not drop everything when Jesus says, “follow me.” Most days I am more like this young man than I am like the disciples, hesitant or closed off when Jesus says: “follow me; come serve your neighbor, come embrace an uncomfortable conversation or task.” Each time I sin, I choose not to follow Jesus.  

The disciples ask an important question after this interaction, “Then who can be saved?” and Jesus so gently responds: “For human beings
it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” I do not have to make myself perfect, but I can try each day to say “yes” in following Christ again. 

12345678910 ... 1718