Third Sunday of Lent

It was quite fortuitous that I put stuff in the bulletin last week concerning my vision for the parish. I had to write it up before I went to leadership training because I knew I would be too busy during the week. Then they spent the whole week telling us how important it was for the leader of a corporation to both have a vision and communicate it to those in the organization. I couldn’t believe it, talk about the Holy Spirit moving! Hopefully it bodes of good things to come.


Growing up I had the privilege of being right in the middle of the golden age of Disney animated film. The Lion King came out when I was in middle school and my cousin and I saw it like four times. One scene has always stood out for me. Simba, has run away from home after his father’s death and grown up with the freestyling Timon and Pumba, forsaking his birthright as the king of the savannah. His people are in need of a leader and Raficki, the baboon, his trusted servant, goes looking for him.


The scene that sticks out is right after the young prince has been located and is asked to come back. The lad is understandably confused and is wandering the wilderness looking for clarity, when a voice from the Heavens speaks to him. The voice, that of his father, tells him (and this is my favorite part) to, “Remember who you are, you are my son and the one true king…remember, remember” and it fades out. Totally epic! Simba realizes that he has to return and the kingdom is restored, the evil uncle defeated, and everyone is happy.


That scene has stuck in my mind because of its Christological significance. Simba is just like one of us, lost in this world yet the heir to something amazing. That voice from heaven is so much like our heavenly Father calling out to us reminding us to remember who we are. We are made in His image and likeness and made for great things, yet many times we prefer the carefree life we think we can have by running away. The only problem is that it is not true! We are so necessary for the great plan of salvation and we need to return to fill our role.


I have used this scene a variety of times throughout my life to both remind and bolster fellow travelers on the road of salvation. With identity fully restored there isn’t anything that can hold us down. Like our second reading last week “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Remember who you are, you are my son and the one true king. Through our baptism this statement becomes true of us. Washed in the blood of the lamb we become the beloved Son and our glorious birthright is restored. So let us remember, remember, remember…

               Prayers Always, Fr. Joseph Altenhofen