Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The rejection of God's authority is, in fact, claiming his authority as my own. It is an attempt to be God.
"The day the Church abandons Her universal tongue will be the day before She returns to the Catecombs." – Pope Pius XII (a few days before his death)
Gospel Text: (MK 1:21-28)
Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers,
and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.
Authority comes from the Latin word for "author," and Jesus spoke with authority because he was the author, the creator, of man and the world.
To capture just a little of what it must have been like to listen to Jesus talk about God, about the world, about man, and about faith and morality, we can imagine listening to Vince Lombardi discuss football, the Wright Brothers talk about airplanes, Henry Ford talk about cars, Thomas Edison describe electricity, Steve Jobs talk about computers, iPads, iPods and iPhones. They could speak with greater authority than almost everyone else because they were the "authors," the inventors, of what we now take for granted.
Well, that's just a glimpse of what it ought to be like for us to listen to Jesus, who is the author of the world, the one through whom all things were made. He could command even the seas and the wind (Mk 4:41) and the demons and they would obey him, because he is the Lord of all.
The question for us today is how do we respond to the Lord's teaching? Are we amazed by it? Grateful for it? Astonished at the authority? Do we follow it, ignore, or resist the Lord as he teaches us in Sacred Scripture, or through his Vicars on earth, or through the successors of the apostles? Do we trust in our own opinions more than we trust what he has said, done and established?
Lack of astonishment to the teaching of the Lord is not a function of a hardened brain, but a stony heart. It's not a thing of inadequate intelligence, but of insufficient love. Those who love God are astonished and amazed by him and what he says and does.
The real litmus test as to whether our heart is hardened or astonished and amazed is how we respond to the gift of God's teaching.
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 6:14 AM