. . . and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians (Acts 11:26c).
The term "Christ" comes from the Greek "christos" which is translated "anointed." By association, it has also come to be synonymous with the word "Messiah" since such a person would have been anointed as such. The term was actually applied to many figures in Jewish Scripture and lore and designated any person who held a role of leadership in the Hebrew community. When we refer to Jesus as the Christ (Jesus Christ), we are acknowledging him as the Messiah, the anointed one.
When we are baptized or confirmed or ordained, we are all anointed with chrism, a mixture of olive oil and perfumes. Christian kings are also chrismated. Anointing is an ancient practice that sets someone apart, marks them as individuals chosen by God and by God's people.
To be called Christian, therefore, is a vocation to be highly cherished and esteemed. We could do nothing more important that to stop and remember each morning as we set upon the activity of the day that we are God's chosen, ambassadors for Jesus, the Christ. CUSANS begin each morning with a special prayer of offering, consecrating their day and uniting themselves with Jesus, the crucified Savior.
- Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator