In last SUNDAY’S READINGS the idea of ‘authority’ is raised.
In the First Reading, God promises the Israelites a prophet with authority after Moses is gone. In the Gospel Reading, Jesus’ authority is questioned – they ask ‘who gives him the authority to cast out demons?’
We all have someone, or some-thing in authority over us – not just bosses, teachers or parents. There are many things that control and command our life. When we are baptised we are put under the authority of the Church and enter into a covenant; we keep the teachings, God imparts his grace – we build the Kingdom here on earth, God invites us to the Eternal Kingdom. The problem is, we often allow other influences to have authority. When we forget God or push him aside, we give away his authority to others which will always define us as less than we truly are.
After preaching on this theme in Sunday’s homily, I realised that this is like the story of Simba in Disney’s The Lion King. Simba is royalty but is living a life eating bugs with a pig (The Prodigal Son?). In one scene he has a dram-like conversation with his father Mufasa who appears in the clouds. The father reminds the son “You have forgotten who you are!” The son protests but the father explains “You have forgotten me, and so forgotten who you are!”
This is what has happened in our culture. We have pushed God aside, labelling Him and Church as out of date and irrelevant, but in doing so we have forgotten who we are – sons and daughters of the King of the Universe. We are literally living off scraps instead!
Jesus instructs his followers (including us) to celebrate the Eucharist “In memory of [Him].” This is so that we remember who we truly are – people of great worth to whom God says “This is my body, broken for you… this is my blood, poured out for you… do this in memory of me.” Through the Eucharistic we come to now our truly value objectively (based on who we are) not subjectively (based on what we do or don’t do).
There are many sources of authority that seek to give us a contrary message – that’s why I need to hear it at least once a week.
Let us pray for freedom from all negative authority as we pray: Our Father…
Think: How are you doing at keeping your end of your Baptismal or Confirmation covenant? How has this affected your self-worth? What negative authorities have been spoken over you? Do you believe your truth worth in Christ?