Days after Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines, many people are still entranced by his person, his charisma and his authority. This is not an authority that comes with the power to control or trample on others. rather it is an authority that flows from the smile, the kindness, the concern and the genuine love that from a very simple man of God.
If the authority of the pope can touch millions of lives, how much more the real authority behind the pope, the Person he came to bring to us, the Person he wanted us to recognize as already in our midst. The gospel today speaks of Jesus’ authority, one that both attracts and confuses people.
Jesus had authority in his words. here was a man speaking from a different plane, “not like the scribes”. He doesn’t refer to this or that tradition or interpretation. He speaks for himself and his testimony is enlightening and attractive.
Jesus has authority also over the evil spirits. In his presence, the evil spirits trembled. They felt they were in danger. They knew they were conquered. As he healed a man possessed by an evil spirit, the people were surprised and awed. Who is this? they asked. Even evil spirits obey him.
We need the authority of Jesus today as we live the challenges of our daily life. we need the authority of his word because we our hearts must be opened to the light, to the truth, to the direction God wants us to take. let us pray that we may be imbued with the true doctrines that we may find our way to the Lord.
We also need the authority of Jesus over evil today. our lives too are in the grip of evil, all sorts of evil. Let us ask Jesus to destroy what is wrong and harmful in us. let us beg Jesus to banish from our hearts the evil of anger and revenge, of sefishness and greed, of indifference and division. May the Spirit of Jesus’ words reign in our hearts always.