Fred Bock was one of the most renowned, recognized and respected Christian music composers, arrange, studio musician, organist, pianist, choral director and music publisher.
One of his famous write-ups (read and known to many of us) titled “One Solitary Life” goes thus…
“Born in an obscure village, He was the child of a peasant woman.
He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty years old, and then for three years He travelled around the county, stopping long enough to talk and to listen to people, and help where He could. He never wrote a book,
>> He never had a hit record, He never went to college
>> He never ran for public office
>> He never had a family or owned a house.
>> He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness.
>> He had no credentials but Himself.
But when He was only thirty-three years old, the tide of public opinion turned against Him, and His friends rejected Him.
> When He was arrested, very few wanted anything to do with Him.
After the trial, He was executed by the State along with admitted thieves.
> Only because a generous friend offered his own cemetery plot was there any place to bury Him.
This all happened nineteen centuries ago, and yet today He is the leading figure of the human race, and the ultimate example of love.
Now it is no exaggeration to say that all the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever set sail, all the rulers that have ever ruled, all the kings that have ever reigned on this earth, all put together have not affected the life of man on earth like One Solitary Life.”
Undoubtedly, we know on whom is this write- up on…… Jesus, of Nazareth!
A Man who was hidden in the shadows of ignorance… yet enjoys the title of being the Most Famous Person in the World!
>> A Man who sought fame from His works… yet enjoys the privilege of being the Most Impressive Person in the World!
Do we know Him?
Do we REALLY know Him?
Or do we, like King Herod, in the Gospel of the Day, end up asking, ” Who then is this about Whom I hear such things?” (Lk 9:9)
When we scan through the pages of the Gospel of St Luke from Chapters 4-9, we find that Jesus was acquiring new heights of fame, popularity and public acclaim.
His words and teachings were…
… ringing in the bells of transformation
… challenging the integrity of the religious leaders and civil authorities
… providing a cushion of hope and encouragement to the lost and the marginalized
His acts of wonders and powers were…
… instilling excitement in the lives of people
… causing the people to have reminiscences of the great prophets of old
As a result the people began to discuss and to say, “John has been raised from the dead; Elijah has appeared; one of the ancient prophets has arisen” (Lk 9:8)
Such rumours, reports and recounts caused a lot of worry for King Herod.
>> The flames of anxiety were scorching his mind…
>> The waves of guilt were drowning his heart…
And therefore, with a highly guilty conscience, in fear and trembling, King Herod puts forward his theory on the Dilemma of this Mysterious Divine Person, ” John I beheaded. Who then is this about Whom I hear such things?” (Lk 9:9)
> The enigmatic personality of Jesus was casting clouds of fear and guilt over King Herod!
> The charismatic work of our Blessed Lord was plunging King Herod into the ocean of haunting and forgettable memories!
Yet, King Herod failed to establish a relationship with our Blessed Lord.
> His mind failed to move beyond the realms of wonder and amazement, to wanting a bonding with the Messiah!
> His heart failed to cut across the barriers of doubts and anxiety, to forge a yearning to receive a touch of the Saviour!
Is our life also sadly moving along the same lines, as that of King Herod…?
>> Is our life of sin and our life of not wanting to take the risk of trusting Him, just like King Herod, causing us to miss out on cherishing a relationship with our Blessed Lord?
To King Herod….
… Jesus only remained a mysterious and stupefying character
… Jesus only remained a person who disturbed his conscience
King Herod was unable to…
… accept Jesus as His Saviour
… accept Jesus as the Lord of his life
We also have surely heard a lot about this wonderful Divine Person named Jesus.
… But has He been able to capture our minds and hearts and do we co-operate with Him to be possessed by His love?
We also have had ample opportunities to grow in our spiritual life and to be receiving a number of teachings on His Divine Word
… But has the Word of God truly become the rule and the guiding principle of our life?
It’s nice to be attracted to the power of God… to praise His wonders.. to be amazed at His awesome deeds.
But it’s just not enough to remain at this peripheral level.
Our Blessed Lord came…
…. not to simply amaze, but to attend to our sins and failures
… not to simply charm, but to challenge our lethargic lives
He wishes that we truly embrace Him…
… as the Lord of our lives
… as our Personal Saviour and Master
Jesus who lived a “Solitary Life” has made a great impact on the world
>> May our personal life also give testimony to this fact and may we truly radiate the Mighty Presence of Jesus in our lives!
Let us seek the intercession of St Vincent de Paul, the Patron Saint of Catholic Charities, on his Feast Day…
… giving heed to his words: “If Christ is the centre of your lives, no words are necessary.
>> Your mere presence will touch hearts!”
God Bless! Live Jesus!