Sunday, January 29, 2012

On the Authority of God

Drawing as ever from this Sunday's readings, B16's food for thought at today's Angelus....
Dear brothers and sisters!

This Sunday's Gospel (Mk 1.21 to 28) presents us with Jesus, on the Sabbath day, as he preached at the synagogue at Capernaum, the small town where Peter and his brother Andrew lived on the lake of Galilee. In his teaching, which arouses the wonder of the people, following the liberation of "a man with an unclean spirit" (v. 23), who recognizes in Jesus as the "saint of God," that is, the Messiah. In a short time, his fame spread throughout the region, which he travels announcing the Kingdom of God and healing the sick of all kinds: word and deed. St. John Chrysostom observes how the Lord "alternates [his] speech for the benefit of those who listen, moving on from wonders to words and again passing from the teaching of his doctrine to miracles" (Hom. on Matthew 25, 1: PG 57, 328).

The word that Jesus speaks to men immediately opens access to the will of the Father and the truth about themselves. It was not so, however, for the scribes, who struggled to interpret the Holy Scriptures with countless reflections. Furthermore, to the efficacy of the word, Jesus united the signs of deliverance from evil. St. Athanasius observes that "commanding and driving out demons is not human but divine work ', in fact, the Lord "distanced men from all diseases and infirmities. Who, seeing his power ... still doubted that he was the Son, the Wisdom and Power of God? " (Oratio de Incarnatione Verbi 18:19: PG 25, 128 BC.129 B). Divine authority is not a force of nature. It is the power of the love of God who created the Universe and, in becoming incarnate in His only begotten Son, in coming down to our humanity, heals the world corrupted by sin. Romano Guardini writes: "The whole life of Jesus is a translation of power in humility ... Here is the sovereignty that lowers itself to the form of a servant" (Power, Brescia 1999, 141,142).

For man, authority often means possession, power, control, success. For God, however, authority means service, humility, love; it means entering into the logic of Jesus who stoops to wash the disciples' feet (cf. Jn 13.5), who seeks the true good of man, who heals wounds, who is capable of a love so great as to give up his life, because he is Love. In one of her Letters, Saint Catherine of Siena writes: "We must see and know, in truth, with the light of faith, that God is the supreme and eternal Love, and desires nothing else but our good."