We have a dog. She is a beagle, and her name is Molly. She is quite possibly the sweetest animal I have ever known. We met her when she was about two weeks old; she joined our family at six weeks old, and has been here ever since. She is beloved.
Molly is not without flaws, and one of them is that she pretends, when it suits her, that she does not understand English. She can't fool me; I know she understands me when I speak. I say, "Back," and she turns around and walks the other way. I say, "Let's go downstairs," and she runs full speed down the stairs. If I say, "Treat," well, you can imagine her reaction. But when it's time for bed, and I say, "Let's go upstairs," she just stares at me as if I am speaking Portuguese or Cat.
She knows my voice, she understands the words, but she doesn't like them. So she ignores me.
This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday. Like any seeker of knowledge, I googled it this evening. The Feast of Christ the King was established in 1925 by Pope Pious XI. He wrote in December of that year that even though World War I was over, there was still no true peace. He believed that true peace could only be found in the recognition of the Christ as King.
John 18:37, from this Sunday's lectionary, says, "Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
"Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
Do we listen to Christ's voice? Or are we as stubborn as our family's beagle, ignoring words we understand but choose not to obey? When Christ says to feed the poor, do we? When he says, "Forgive that person so many times that you can't keep count," do we? When he says that the most important action we can do with our lives is to love God and love each other, do we?
Or do we stare at our savior as if we don't understand him at all because it's not the words we want to hear?
Labels: Gospel, Listening, Obedience