True Authority

September 5, 2017
Tuesday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of St. Teresa of Calcutta
The Gospel Today
Luke 4:31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.
He taught them on the sabbath,
and they were astonished at his teaching
because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon,
and he cried out in a loud voice,
“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, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”
Then the demon threw the man down in front of them
and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another,
“What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out.”
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

Reflection (Sem. John Paul S. Adia)

We long to hear God’s words, His voice, and His message. The time when the Kings reigned the people of God, prophets were sent in order to lead the people back to God. They spoke with authority because God had given them the words that they needed to proclaim or instruct to the people. But what had happened to most, if not all, of the prophets? They were rebuked, disregarded, or even put to death. But there came a time that no prophets were sent. The people were not able to hear what God wanted to say even though there were priests or teachers of the law. For a long time, I may say, God became silent.

God did not abandon His people. He sent His promised Messiah that will not just give a message, but will redeem us from the slavery of sin. Jesus is the most awaited messiah and prophet. But people became too astonished by Him. We can say that it is because Jesus is not just relaying a message but rather the message is from Him. In a deeper sense, He is the message itself. Why? Because He is not just a mere prophet. He is God. His words even has an authority over unclean spirits that no words of man can ever have.

There were times that even I cannot recognize the presence of God. These were the times that I was overwhelmed with the voice of the world – struggles, inordinate attachments, selfishness, and many more. I had allowed them to have authority over me. Seminary life is never free from this kind of experience, especially that we entered having our professional background from outside. We somehow established our own “authority” that sometimes hinders us to discern what God is saying to us. That is why I am very thankful with the formation because I am molded by God again to a person that He is preparing me to become.

Everyday is a never ending discernment of what God is telling us, His movements in our lives, and most specially His will for us. May I live out what St. Paul said to his letter to the Thessalonians, “…whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with Him.” May my whole life be under His authority.

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