by Fr. Stephen Supica
February 2nd is the feast of the Meeting (or Presentation) of Our Lord in the Temple. Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, having taken on our human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary, permits Himself to be brought as a forty-day-old infant to the Temple to fulfill the Old Testament Law. In imitation of this, to this day we bring each newborn baby to church on their fortieth day to be presented to God.
Since it falls on a Sunday this year, this February 2nd is also – like every Sunday – our weekly celebration of Christ’s Resurrection.
In addition to the commemoration of our Lord’s condescension – imagine the Creator of the cosmos being being carried around in diapers! – and Resurrection, there’s also a football game on that Sunday. Conveniently, kickoff isn’t until 3:25 PM Pacific time, so there’s plenty of time to be in church for the complete Liturgy, have a cup coffee with your friends, pick up something to eat on the way home, and still catch a couple of hours of pre-game programming before the game itself actually starts.
So there’s no need on that Sunday to make a choice between the Son of God and the Super Bowl.
If you’re not in church, you’re not choosing between the game and your Lord – you’re choosing between some third or fourth hour of pre-game shows and your Lord, or between an extra hour of party preparation and your Lord.
And if that’s the choice you’re making, I have to wonder if you don’t owe it to yourself to ask yourself honestly if you really consider Him to be your Lord. Because if you can’t commit a couple of hours once a week to worship Him, I’m not sure what sort of “Lordship” you’re allowing Him to have in your life.
This is certainly not just about football. This is about anything that any of us allow to take precedence over Jesus Christ and to steal that time on the Lord’s Day when we should be worshipping Him, when we should be present as He offers us His Body and Blood for our salvation. And this is certainly not just about you. This is also about the example you offer to your family, to your friends, and to your society about how seriously you take Christ’s Lordship.
I’m sorry to say that there are parents in this parish who are training their children that skiing, or soccer, or going to the lake – or practically anything else you could imagine – is more important than worshipping Christ. I feel sorry for those children, and I can only hope that at some point it will occur to them that the One whom they call “Lord” should be treated as if He actually is. I pray that the same thing dawns on their parents.
If you have allowed anything to usurp the place – and time – in your life that belongs to Christ, please stop and ask yourself: where will you be this Sunday … and who – or what – will be your Lord?