Tuesday, January 13, 2015

“The only safe ruler is he who has learned to obey willingly.”

”Whoever wishes to live happily and to attain perfection, must live conformably to reason, to rule, and to obedience, and not to his natural likes and dislikes; such an one must esteem all rules, must honor them all, must cherish them all, at least in the superior part of the will; for if one rule be despised now, another will be so tomorrow, and on the third day it will be no better. When once the bonds of duty are broken, everything will be out of order, and exhibit a scene of confusion.” - Saint Francis of Sales, Doctor of the Church

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.

The Gospel points to the authority with which Jesus spoke and acted, an authority that flowed from his “being” and “doing” as much as from what he said. His embrace of God’s spoken and written word, and his interpretation of it from the life of compassion that he lived offer us a way to understand our vocation of partnership in “living into” God’s reign by imitating Jesus’ humanity through the grace supplied by his divinity. Our authority to serve and save the created order hinges on our participation in bringing about God’s reign, on earth as it is in heaven by serving one another and all of creation in the manner that Jesus did.

Whatever our service vocation (ordained, married, parenting, teaching etc.) our baptismal vocation births us into a union with Jesus’ humanity and divinity that empowers us with the powers to share in Jesus’ authority of proclaimer of God’s Will (prophet), healer of God’s creation (priest) and servant of God’s people (king) which should simply take our breath away with the humbling and ennobling truth that Psalm 8 proclaims today:

“You have made [humans] little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor.”

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