Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
Authority is a funny thing- we spend a lot of our lives stuck underneath someone’s authority- whether it be our parents, teachers, baby sitters, or someone else who watched us and looked out for our well being. We constantly want to push back against authority because we don’t like the burdens that rules and regulations bring. But it’s interesting that the people who often have authority over us are who they are… almost everyone in your life who has ever had authority over you was in a position of being responsible for you and your well-being. Authority is given to those who can help protect us and lead us away from the bad and towards the good. It’s funny when we stop and realize that authority is directly tied up with care and love.
With Jesus, it is no different. For the people Jesus was preaching to in the synagogue that Sabbath day, their experience of authority was very limited but powerful; the Law was the authority of the people of Israel. For years they lived according to rules and regulations that they wanted to rebel against- just like all of us in those overly-angsty teenage years. These people didn’t have a living person who was looking out for and promoting their well being, they simply had a list of laws and prohibitions given to them by God. And this is precisely why Jesus’ actions in the gospel today are so important!
Jesus brings the Law and the authority of God to us in love and compassion. No longer do God’s people have a book of Laws to dictate how they are to live- a far off and distant authority that doesn’t seem to care very much about their well being, but they have a living person who heals, blesses, and pours out love on his people. Today we see the beautiful reality of a God who wields authority to cast out demons, yet also loves us and cares for us enough to wield that same authority to lead us into happiness and life.
Spend some time reflecting on Jesus’ authority in your own life, especially in those moments when we think He is asking us to give up too much of our lives, and ask Him to help reveal His love in the midst of His authority.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
How do you view authority? Do you see how it is directly tied up with care and love?
Do you see God's love and compassion in His authority? Do you accept that love and strive to know Christ and live in a relationship with Him?
How can you live more under God's authority and grow in the love and freedom that it brings?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"I love You."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Today in prayer, take time to reflect on Jesus’ authority in your own life, especially in those moments when we think He is asking us to give up too much of our lives, and ask Him to help reveal His love in the midst of His authority.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Adam Smyth, a high school youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Ellicott City, MD.
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