Rev. Keith Laskowski
September 24/25, 2022
26th Sunday of Ordinary Time
The title “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” may has a familiar ring to us of expressing devotion to Jesus. The words may roll off our tongues with ease as we give acknowledgment to God. However, in the time of Saint Paul, these words were dangerous. In the Mediterranean area, there were secular kings and rulers. In fact, a popular phrase within the Roman Empire was “Caesar is Lord.” So, to claim that Jesus is King and Lord, would be seen as a subversive act of hostility. To say these words, carried with it a danger to your livelihood and well-being.
Paul continues to encourage Timothy as leader of the community of Ephesus which would have been one of the largest cities within the Roman Empire. He charges Timothy with the task of remaining faithful “to the commandment without stain or reproach.” Timothy must remain steadfast and faithful in a time when it was not easy to do so. Paul reminds Timothy, “to pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.” Paul frames this life as a battle. We hear him say, “Compete well for the faith.” But a more literal translation is “Fight well thebeautiful fight of faith.” He is not suggesting that we turn to violence, but rather, there are times when we have to make difficult decisions. Or, when our own personal preferences must be sacrificed and when one’s fears must be overcome. He reminds that it is beautiful because we are never alone. Christ is working in us. It took courage for the Ephesians to say Jesus is, “King of Kings and Lord of lords.” But things haven’t changed. While it is easy to echo those words, it is still a battle to live that reality today. Let us ask for the grace to live as if Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords in our life.