Today’s Gospel: Mark 1:21-28
When I was a little girl, well before the invention of laptops, iPhones, FaceBook, Angry Birds, or Candy Crush Saga, we played games where kids actually interacted. (Insert horrified teen-age gasp.) One game that filled our afternoons was “Captain May I?” (Or some may have called it “Mother May I?”)—a game where one person has all the authority and controls the movements of the others, movements that will ultimately result in the winner reaching the finish line.
As I meditated on today’s Gospel, for some reason memories of that childhood game filled my head. Trust me, the memory of something so childish while reading a Gospel so profound was a surprise to me! (The Holy Spirit loves to keep me on my toes!)
As I initially read the Gospel with the intent of writing this reflection, my heart leapt with joy. I love the deep theological writings on Christ teaching with authority and my mind raced as how to incorporate them. Then, the Holy Spirit took a turn and brought me to the simplicity of a child’s faith.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus enters the synagogue in Capernaum and astonishes the people with his teachings, because “he taught them as one who had authority.” Often times we think of those who have authority as those who have power over others and dictate their every movement. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to Christ, the True Authority.
There is no greater authority than Jesus Christ and there is no humbler servant. “Not my will, but your will be done.” (Luke 22:42) Jesus’ incarnation is the ultimate act of humility—God became man to save humanity, and in this act of utter humility, Jesus uses his true authority to lead us back to the Father.
It’s like the ultimate game of “Captain May I.” Jesus is a true servant who gently guides us to the goal by showing us what steps to take through Scripture, through prayer, through the Sacraments, through the works of the Holy Spirit.
True authority doesn’t reside in one who dictates, it is the hallmark of one who serves.
Do you lead others to the Father by imitating Christ? When you share Christ with another is your heart truly thinking “how can I best serve this person’s needs” or are you caught up in getting your message across?
Lord, give me the humility to surrender my heart to you that I might hear the needs of others before I speak your truth.
Copyright 2014 Kelly Wahlquist