Saturday, January 31, 2009

Authority in Ordinary Time (Mk1:21-28)

The people in the Gospel today marveled at the authority with which Jesus spoke. The Unclean Spirits recognized Jesus and obeyed His Authority. They had no choice. He cast them out. Out they went. Interestingly enough, those who heard Jesus in the Synagogue did not have to recognize His Authority, nor obey Him. Neither do we. We are free to accept or reject the Son of God, Jesus, the Christ, the Savior of the World, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. We can simply ignore Him who is our Life. And we often do. Why? Because we like to live according to our own authority. Our authority, not founded upon the firm foundation that is the Loving Mercy of the Most Holy Trinity, but instead upon how we feel about a particular situation or issue. Our feelings trump the Authority of Christ Jesus. When this is pointed out, what is our response? Usually we get angry that the way we feel is not being respected. The Responsorial Psalm response was If today you here His voice, harden not your heart We often allow our hearts to harden because we refuse to recognize and obey Jesus' Authority in our daily lives. The invitation is clear this Sunday. We are invited once again to abandon our self to the Lord, and to live according to His Will. In other words to submit ourselves to His Authority; to live according to the Law of Christ and His Church. Couples pledge to teach their children this when they celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and at the Baptism of each child. It is time that this becomes more than lip service. This however is not only a challenge to parents, but to all of us this Sunday. Will we open our hearts to the voice of the Lord? Will we imitate Jesus and be obedient to the Will of God the Father? Will we recognize the Authority that Jesus has in our life and follow Him on a daily basis? Or will we continue to be swayed by our feelings and live by their authority? Will we harden our hearts because God is not telling us what we want to hear? Will we marvel at Jesus' Authority and then not obey Him? Will we reject the Obedience Discipleship demands? Unlike the unclean spirits who already chose against God and thus had to obey the Authority of Jesus in the Gospel today, we are free to choose. Listen for His voice! Harden not your heart!

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