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. (Mark 1:21-28)
Authority. A word that summons different emotions. When used for the good – for example, teaching – no one has an issue with the word. But when abused – as in the exploitation of another – we all have an issue with it.
But the word itself is different than what most of us believe. The root of the word is author – to create something original from one’s own self. From the essence of who a person is.
That brings us to today’s Gospel when Jesus speaks with authority. He speaks and acts in a way that comes directly out of his essence.
And who questions that authority? A person possessed. A person who stands for all that is troubled, confused, misunderstood. A demon hiding behind the mask of a person.
You and I know something about masks, right? We all wear then – often. We can find a myriad of reasons “why.” Often, we even develop a rationale that revolves around the mask wearing being “necessary” or “so as to not hurt somebody.”
The irony is that those masks we put up, those personas, keep us from having the very things we think they will gain us; things like intimacy, love, acceptance, healing, forgiveness, and authenticity.
You and I are called to something greater than wearing a mask. You and I are called to help build His kingdom on this earth. WOW!
You and I have been chosen to accomplish that task out of who you and I are. Not imagined. Not acted. But from the authenticity of our lives. Not what we think others wanted.
We pursue God with all of our heart and soul and mind and strength. We put the teachings of Jesus into action in our daily lives. And then we must be honest and real in sharing our experience with one another.
The more we know about Christ we grow in faith and become more open to God. The more we do these things, the more we realize that when we start living our lives, and live them for God, the context of being part of Jesus Christ changes the way we relate to the world.
When Jesus Christ is the authority in our lives, we don’t need a mask. Our lives become stronger, bolder, livelier, and more joyful. We have been given our own context. We are placed in our own story.
Within that story, Christ asked us to reflect him. To reflect Him through our lives and our experience. Not anyone’s else. Him through us!
You and me !!!
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, we often come to you as if you are an insignificant thought, a guiding principle that is nice and easy. Help us to be honest with you about who we are, what we have done and what we have failed to do. Give us the strength we need to live as your disciples, filled with the authority you bring as our Creator and Our Lord.”
Jesus is still teaching to us today. He teaches with authority because it is his own profound experience and it is his deepest desire to heal our distressed spirits, so we too can experience for ourselves and participate in the building of His kingdom.