Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Authority and Power

The gospel today tells us that Jesus speaks with authority and power. The Greek words here are exousia and dynamis. The second you may recognize. It is the base for English words like dynamic. It means power, the ability to do something.

The first word exousia also means power but is translated authority because it refers to the power to choose or decide. Jesus had the power to choose and the power to make that choice real.

Now look at the first reading today that tells us that the Spirit we have been given is "the mind of Christ." In baptism we are set free from slavery to sin. We too are given the power. The first reading reminds us that we are given the power to see not only the natural realities but spiritual. We know right from wrong.

Like Christ we too are free. We have the power to choose. We have authority, at least over ourselves. And we have the ability to act, to make those choices real.

This authority, this freedom is a wonderful thing, but it also makes us responsible. Generics, upbringing, culture, all these may influence us but they do not rob us of our fundamental freedom or take away our responsibility.

We too have authority and power pay attention to how we use it today.