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Daily Mass Reflections - 1/15/19

Updated on January 16, 2020

“....for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.” ~ Mark 1:22

Some great commentary on the notion of suffering and hardship as a gateway to glory and even perfection in today’s 1st Reading (2 Hebrews 5-12) wherein Saint Paul speaks of the virtue gained through suffering. He says of Jesus “For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering. He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin.”

Perfection through suffering; a concept which certainly runs counter to mainstream society’s way of thinking, where ‘quick,‘ ‘easy,‘ ‘no-hassle’ and ‘pain-free’ are but a few of the virtues espoused and peddled both on Madison Avenue and Main Street. We know however that when it came to suffering, Jesus’ transmission did not have a reverse gear. Retreating from pain, suffering, hardships and even death were simply not a part of his divine DNA. To the contrary, he willingly and courageously walked towards it. And in an astounding and intimate display of kinship and brotherhood, he invites us to partake of this glorious albeit difficult journey to heavenly perfection, where we will reside with him in the Kingdom for all of eternity. And he will be with us every step of the way.

Let him lead - he already knows the way.

In today’s Gospel (Mark 1:21-28) we learn that the people were taken aback by Jesus’ style, for he taught “with authority,” not merely as a scribe or an elder. Comfort zones were encroached upon, and we all know what that means.

As enlightened Catholics, we too are capable of speaking with authority for we have been blessed with the gift of God’s truth in the form of the Gospel. As a matter of fact, we are called to teach with authority; it’s not optional. For Jesus, teaching with authority sealed his fate and set in motion his walk to Calvary. Every time we choose popularity over the truth or allow dishonesty as it relates to the teachings of our church to go unchallenged, we give away our authority. Sadly enough, whenever the Catholic Church covers up or gives lip service to a case of cleric abuse, she gives away her authority. And authority is not easy to re-assert or re-claim.

Political, social, and economic ideologies come and go. in the end, end each and every one of them will ultimately be forgotten. The words uttered by Jesus on the Cross are in fact the only words that will echo throughout all of eternity.

“Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care, O Lord. That we may see what must be done and gain the strength and bravely exercise the authority to do what we have seen.” ~ Amen

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