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Taking The Authority Of Jesus Seriously

Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Scriptural Readings: 1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22a; Psalm 89:16-17, 18-19 Mark 2:1-12

My dear encountered couples:

The authority of Jesus was so great that he was able to forgive sins. To prove it he told a paralyzed man, “Get up! Pick up your mat and go home.” And that is just what the man did.

Jesus loved people and he used his authority for their good. He went about teaching and telling people what to do. Not all that he taught was pleasant to hear, not all he told people to do was what they might have preferred to do. But he spoke and came across in such a way that his seriousness was never missed. Even his enemies realized he was serious in his words. That’s why they tried to shut him up.

I wonder what Jesus would say to people who are lazy in their spiritual and everyday life. To people who just drift along, don’t add much of anything to the world, usually only take what some good soul might give them. Though Jesus always had a tender spot in his heart for those who could not help themselves, for the lame and the sick, we can imagine that he had little admiration for the healthy and able who only pretended they were lame and sick. I’m talking about those who live off the government, off their relatives, their friends, and what they can get out of strangers. I imagine Jesus might say this to them:

Better yourself! Why do you think my Father and I created you? Study and learn! What do you think we gave you a brain for? Read! And read good, worthwhile things. What do you think we gave you eyes for? Get up off your posterior, use your legs and your hands and your body, get a job, do something to benefit others. Work and construct and produce! What do you think we gave you abilities for? There’s no place in heaven for freeloaders and goof-offs.” Suppose Jesus would say things like that? If he did it would be with authority, meaning: When Jesus speaks, we had better be all ears, followed by action.


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