(first published November 25, 2011)
Yes, Jesus is your personal Lord and Savior. He is also the Ruler of Nature, the Lord of History, and the Slayer of the Leviathan. When I hear Evangelicals call Jesus their “personal Lord and Savior,” I know the fullness from which they speak and I cannot begrudge the term. When I hear Catholics use that very foreign phrase, I think it's a job demotion for Our Blessed Lord. For we know Him in the Eucharist as we are becoming not his friend, but incorporated in His Body. And we remember his Incarnational transformation of physical nature, and we await his triumphant coming again as Head of the Church and King of History and the nations. Catholics are always living within these three comings of Christ. Maybe because the Eucharist is such an intense physical personal event, we don’t emotionally emphasize our personal relationship with Christ but look, instead, both backward and forward to the actions of the Cosmic King.
We lose something of Christ and a good deal of man if we define Christ solely in terms of soteriology (His saving act toward man). Christ would have been King even if Adam had not fallen, so there is something essential about man and Christ that does not depend on Adam’s sin and Christ as Our Savior. The Liturgical Year offers us special days to contemplate certain truths, which can be under-emphasized by particular cultures and eras. Let us fully understand this final feast in the Church calendar, in order to better greet the baby and receive His Body -- remembering that when the trumpet finally sounds, indeed, he will "bestride the narrow world like a Colossus" and Eternal King.