What We Say vs. What We Do

We are very familiar with the saying, “Action speaks louder than words.” God’s word speaks the loudest in and through His incarnate Word, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. I consider the Scripture verse, John 1:14, as one of the most succinct and powerful presentations of the Christian faith.

The verse reads: “…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have beheld His glory.” This Scripture verse reminds me that Christ is a real person, one we can experience. The part that speaks about beholding His glory draws our attention to the fact that the experience of Christ leads to glory. The Word spoken by God corresponds to His actions because God is truth.

If my words, your words, our words, and our daily expressions were to become concrete, would you describe them as glorious? Would you want to embrace them? Spend time with them? And share a meal with them? As Christians, we have a big challenge to match what we say with what we do.

Christ the Lord of our lives

The Lord says that it is not enough to address him as Lord in words. Our actions ought to show the lordship of Christ. At a recent priests’ retreat that I attended, the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Dolan, spoke on the Lordship of Christ in our lives in one of his talks. He explained that the Latin equivalent of the word, “Lord”—“Dominus” – has same root as the word, “dominate.”

What “dominates” (Lords) my life? Or who dominates my life? This is why it is very interesting to see how early the apostles of Christ recognized Him as the “Lord.” The word “Lord” is not easily thrown around in the Jewish culture. For the apostles to have called Jesus, “Lord” means that He has really permeated their lives. Thus, Peter exclaimed, “Lord to whom shall we go?” (Cf. John 6:68).

When Jesus says that the mere voicing out of the word “Lord” will not lead one to the Kingdom of God, He is calling us to reject anything that dominates our lives other than Him. Our actions reflect what dominates our lives. And what dominates one’s life is either of God or not.

As we prepare for the Lord’s coming this Advent, maybe we could reexamine our lives and see who really lords us: who or what dominates our lives? For some of us, celebrities—thus we act like them; for some, whatever that is in-vogue takes center stage of our lives—so we emulate the trends; still for others, it is our comfort zones—hence we recoil there and dread going forth to show forth the Lord Jesus.

Whichever way we act speaks loudly about who is truly the Lord of our lives. And this is why, Jesus says, His Kingdom is only for those whose actions show that He is in charge of their lives. It will be wonderful if we allow Jesus to be the Lord of our lives. He delivers us from being lord to ourselves and from other lords in the world.

[Readings: Is 26:1-6; Mt 7:21, 24-27]

Fr. Christian Amah

My name is Fr. Christian Amah. I am a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. I was ordained in 2016 at St Patrick's Cathedral in New York City by his eminence Cardinal Dolan. I was born and raised in Nigeria. Currently, I am a parochial vicar at St Benedict's Church, Bronx New York.

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