Philippine Daily Inquirer - - WORLD -

Jan­uary 15, 2019 (Tues­day) 1st Week in Or­di­nary Time Psalter: Week 1/(Green) Ps 8:2ab & 5, 6-7, 8-9 You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.

1st Read­ing: He­brews 2:5-12

The an­gels were not given do­min­ion over the new world of which we are speak­ing. In­stead, some­one de­clared in Scrip­ture: What is man, that you should be mind­ful of him, what is the son of man that you should care for him? For a while you placed him a lit­tle lower than the an­gels, but you crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him do­min­ion over all things.

When it is said, that God gave him do­min­ion over all things, noth­ing is ex­cluded. As it is, we do not yet see his do­min­ion over all things. But Je­sus, who suf­fered death, and for a lit­tle while, was placed lower than the an­gels, has been crowned with honor and glory. For the mer­ci­ful plan of God de­manded that he ex­pe­ri­ence death, on be­half of ev­ery­one.

God, from whom all come, and by whom all things ex­ist, wanted to bring many chil­dren to glory, and he thought it fit­ting to make per­fect, through suf­fer­ing, the ini­tia­tor of their sal­va­tion. So, he who gives, and those who re­ceive ho­li­ness, are one. He, him­self, is not ashamed of call­ing us brothers and sis­ters, as we read: Lord, I will pro­claim your name to my brothers; I will praise you in the con­gre­ga­tion.

Gospel: Mark 1:21-28

They went into the town of Caper­naum and Je­sus taught in the syn­a­gogue on the Sab­bath day. The peo­ple were as­ton­ished at the way he taught, for he spoke as one hav­ing au­thor­ity, and not like the teach­ers of the law.

It hap­pened that, a man with an evil spirit was in their syn­a­gogue, and he shouted, “What do you want with us, Je­sus of Nazareth? Have you come to de­stroy us? I knowwhoyou are: You are the Holy One of God.” Then Je­sus faced him and said with au­thor­ity, “Be silent, and come out of this man!” The evil spirit shook the man vi­o­lently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him.

All the peo­ple were as­ton­ished, and they won­dered, “What is this? With what au­thor­ity he preaches! He even gives orders to evil spir­its and they obey him!” And Je­sus’ fame spread through­out all the coun­try of Galilee.


“I know who you are.” Au­thor­ity is the key word in to­day’s gospel read­ing. It oc­curs in two senses. There is Je­sus’ au­thor­ity in the sense of his power to com­mand and be obeyed—even by evil spir­its who rec­og­nize and name him as “the Holy One of God.” But there is au­thor­ity in an­other sense: his ca­pac­ity to preach and speak “with au­thor­ity”—“not like teach­ers of the law.” Je­sus’ au­thor­ity does not come from learned study, of­fice, or lin­eage. He preaches and acts as one who lives and em­bod­ies the truth of his mes­sage. It is his very na­ture. Peo­ple can sense his au­then­tic­ity, but their re­sponse is more of won­der than of con­fes­sion: “What is this?” They are not yet ready to rec­og­nize him as clearly as the evil spir­its who “know who he is.”

Among the saints, there were many who lacked any of­fi­cial of­fice, who had no spe­cial train­ing or the­o­log­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion. And yet their con­tem­po­raries could per­ceive in them an au­thor­ity that was lack­ing in “teach­ers of the law.” As Chris­tians, we too must speak with au­thor­ity—not sim­ply by quot­ing author­i­ta­tive texts or show­ing off our learn­ing, but with the au­thor­ity that comes from back­ing up pro­fes­sions of faith with the way we live.

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