Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gladiator: Through the Eyes of Lucilla

“If only you had been born a man. What a Caesar you would have made! You would have been strong, I wonder… would you have been just?” Those were the words my father, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, said to me after he and his general, Maximus Decimus Meridius, led the Roman army to victory against a barbaric Germanic tribe. My father was wise and old at that point, and both my brother, Commodus, and myself knew that his days were numbered. One of us, the former, was looking forward to his death. After all, Commodus believed he would be emperor next.

My name is Lucilla and I am the Emperor’s daughter. As Maximus told my father, I believe that we, the royal blood of Rome, are here “for the glory of the Empire.” But perhaps, this not something exclusive only for the royal blood, for Maximus, our general, is almost family to us, although we do not share the same blood. My father loved him. Before his death, my father approached Maximus and told him it would be Maximus who would be the heir the to throne – not my brother Commodus. But when my father told this to my brother, Commodus lost control, strangled, and killed my father.

I loved Maximus too, but he had no choice but to escape as my brother Commodus became the new emperor. Out of fear for my brother I could not weep, for my father or for Maximus. My only motive for living was my young son, Lucius. I loved him more than I loved myself. My brother loved me in the way a man loves a women, and not the way a brother should love a sister. I endured it, for the sake of my son. Years passed and during the commemoration of my father’s death in the games at the Colosseum, I saw Maximus again. I thought he was dead. But he was very much alive and defeated the legionaries on horseback. Through the grapevine, I found out that my brother had murdered Maximus’ wife and son. Maximus had been captures and had become a slave as a Gladiator, fighting for his life ever since.

My brother did not kill Maximus because he was at the service of the people and the crowd loved Maximus. Rome is the mob. Rome is the people. However, my brother did try to kill Maximus. He set him up for a battle against the Tigris of Raul, the only undefeated warrior of Roman history. The game was bloody and unfair, with tigers involved. Yet the Maximus that I love survived.

Only then did I realize I needed to be courageous and risk my life for those whom I loved – both Maximus and my son Lucius. I helped Maximus get his freedom back and plotted with him and a senator to battle against my brother. But my brother found out and Maximus was captured again. I was responsible; I betrayed Maximus when my son’s life was in jeopardy. Finally, my brother decided that he himself would fight Maximus in a brutal game that resulted in both Commodus’ and Maximus’ death.

Maximus’ last command was “Release my men. Senator Gracchus is to be reinstated. There was a dream that was Rome. It shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius.” Maximus taught me so much. He taught me the meaning of love, of loyalty, and of will power. His love for my father, for Rome, and for his family exceeded beyond my love for my son, Lucius. Maximus’ last words to me were, “Lucius is safe.” His name will be remembered in the centuries to come because he knew his identity in the eyes of my father, the Emperor. Maximus knew who he was even in the face of tribulation and death. “Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again. He was a soldier of Rome. Honor him.”
How often do we forget our identity in Christ? We are princesses and princes, co-heirs. We are the apple of His eye. Don't forget that this weekend: you are loved.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I like to think I'm matured and have grown up long ago. But truth be told, I'm still really young and we never stop growing, learning, making mistakes, and maturing. The amount I've grown in the past four months have been incredible leaps and I'm so grateful to God for everything He's been putting me through and teaching me. Here's a few of those lessons He's taught me.

- "It's not about you. It's about your availability." Being human, I'm always thinking of myself - what I need to do, what I want to do. But God is just telling me: be available with your time. Minister and spend time with the people He's placed in your life for a reason. Stop focusing on yourself.

- "I have a plan for you." Look, it doesn't make sense all the time. Most of time, it doesn't make sense, at all. I thought He wanted me to get that scholarship, but He didn't. I was upset and disappointed, but just think: it means there's something greater installed for my life. I'm just excited to find out what that is!

- "Let me be your Healer." I've been hurt. Who hasn't. I've held on to regret, pain, disappointment, maybe even some anger. But God has just been so awesome. He's told me just to let go, to let him heal and bandage those wounds that I've allowed to open up again.

- "Share." I don't believe God put me through so many things in my life just for me. After, this ties in with the first point, it isn't about me. I'm learning to be a testimony and sharing little bits of my life story with others to show them that God is really... God. There's no other way to put it.

- "Let me drive." Picture your life as a car and let God be in the driver's seat. Not only that, don't be a backseat driver, telling God where you want Him to drive. Enjoy the ride. He's in control.

Have a blessed day. :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He Is Risen!

“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:10

Today I am just so overwhelmed by how amazing the God I serve is. My heart is light, I have a big smile on my face, and I'm so overjoyed that I get to spend this special day with my big family in Christ. I love you all and I hope everyone has a great Easter. Don't forget to thank Jesus for what He did for us on that cross two thousand years ago... and for rising from the dead!