Tag Archives: Authority

29th Sunday of the Year: Heaven & Earth.

Study:  Name a role model who lives a principled life.  What is it that they say or do that inspires you?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the strength to make the right choice, especially over a difficult or challenging situation.

Serve:  Is there someone in your life who looks to you for guidance and example?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 29th Sunday of the Year

The first reading, psalm, and gospel readings today touch upon the notions of earthly and heavenly governance. Part of our human condition requires that we recognize our need for others; by working with people we unite in strength, and by serving the Lord we understand our values and priorities in life.

Let’s start first with human governance. In the first reading from Isaiah we hear how God has anointed Cyrus – the pagan king – as the instrument for Israel’s redemption. While the king does not know the Law or the Prophets, he gives the people of Israel a new opportunity by conquering their enemy, Babylon.

This distinction between the pagan King and the people’s faith is a helpful guide for us today. While Christianity has made countless contributions to Western Civilization, we find ourselves living in a culture that has many non-Christian influences. Some are good, some neutral, and others are just plain bad. Yet Isaiah teaches us today to look for what is good and useful, recognizing that God can work through a variety of instruments.

Since we live in this world filled with all these different elements, we are constantly challenged to discern and choose those options which are good, holy, and true. It is not always easy! Indeed, we can find ourselves confronted by issues that push and stretch us in a variety of ways.

So how do we decide? The gospel today offers a gem from the Lord:

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
And to God what belongs to God.”
Matthew 22:21

We have duties and obligations as members of both heaven and earth. In the world we have our responsibilities – voting and jury duty, abiding civil laws, serving in local organizations, and actively living as good citizens. And as a people of faith, we are bound to follow the teaching and commandments of Jesus Christ.

So what do we do in a conflict? In the end we remember that all creation is the Lord’s. When pushed to extreme, we follow Christ. God made this world, and one day we will be called out of it. May our example show to others our desire to be good citizens – both on earth, and in heaven.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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Note: This blog was originally published on October 13, 2014. 


Daily Mass: Christ empowers us! Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 26th Week of the Year (Our Lady of the Rosary)

The 72 disciples return to Jesus, rejoicing at how their lives – empowered by Christ – have made a difference.  Their “yes” to the Lord inspires us to do the same, offering our lives so that Christ can work through us in the world today.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Trust God…and get to work. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 25th Week of the Year (St. Vincent de Paul)

Jesus gives his Apostles power and authority, and then he invites them to trust in God alone.  It’s a good reminder for us to claim the blessings that we’ve been given as we put the Lord first in our lives.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

 


Daily Mass: The authority and power of Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 22nd Week of the Year

With authority and power Jesus teaches and drives out a demon in the Gospel today.  As his followers, may we call upon the Lord for the guidance and courage we need to face our challenges with his grace.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

Photo Credit: Son of God, 2014.


21st Sunday of the Year: What keys do you have?

Keys

Study:  Recall a time when you were entrusted with power.  How did you use it?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for guidance over the things and situations in your control right now.

Serve:  How can you help someone who is struggling with a decision of leadership?  How can you offer solid support?

Mass Readings – 21st Sunday of the Year

Take a look at the keys in your pocket.  As you hold them, think about what they do:

  • The doors they open
  • The cars they open & start
  • The authority and power they reveal

Keys allow us access and empower us with authority.  Keys give us control over our physical world and they help us to use resources wisely and well.  They are also symbols that speak to identity and purpose – just think about what happens when our keys are lost or taken from us….

In the first reading and the Gospel today we discover the power of God’s keys:

  • Key of the House of David
  • Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

These promises to Eliakim and St. Peter are mighty – they will receive the power, authority,and  responsibility from God lead and guide.  Consider these three points:

Power: they receive the strength and ability to carry out the work entrusted to them.  Power gives them resources and skills to accomplish great things.  Without power they are weak; with God’s power they can do more than they ever dreamed possible.

Authority: these keys are a sign of leadership and respect.  The keys they possess allow them to direct and command others.  Those who hold the keys are followed; those who hold the keys stand before us and provide wisdom, insight, and vision.

Responsibility: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” (Luke 12:48b)  With great power comes great responsibility, and those who have been given strength and ability are required to use it with wisdom.  Indeed, having the keys of Authority are a burden to demonstrate transparency, accountability, and trust.

Again, look at the keys in your pocket.  How do we use them?  Today we might consider the gifts and talents God has given us: we have an opportunity at this moment to exercise our own power and authority with God’s guidance, knowing that one day the Lord will seek an accounting with what we have done.

May our own keys inspire us to live with conviction and direction – using the resources we have received with the insights offered by our faith in Jesus Christ.  The Lord is the source of all keys, may we call upon him to help us use them!

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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Note: This post was originally published on August 18, 2014.


4th Sunday of the Year – Power & Authority

healing

Study:  Consider a time in life when you used power and authority well.  What helped and guided you?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the wisdom and courage to live your life in accordance with God’s commands.

Serve:  How can you make a difference with your life today?  What is in your reach to do that makes an immediate difference?

4th Sunday of the Year Readings
Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

In great and small ways, we all exercise power and authority.  Some people make daily decisions that shape the lives of nations; others rule kingdoms no bigger than the back garden.  Yet regardless of size and shape, the fact remains that power and authority are part of human life.

Having these two dynamic attributes, however, are no guarantee that they will be used wisely and well.  History is filled with both good and bad examples where power and authority have been used – for great good and great harm.

Like all gifts, power and authority find their origin in the Lord.  God is the source of all life, and every blessing, every ability, derives its strength from the throne of Heaven.  Both the first reading and the Gospel today acknowledge this truth: Moses proclaims that God will raise up a future prophet for the people; Jesus teaches with authority and casts out demons.  As Christ fulfills the promise of Moses, the Lord extends his power to conquer sin and death that we might have hope in this world as we look to the world to come.

In light of these readings two thoughts emerge for consideration:

  • Do I acknowledge God’s power and authority in my life?
  • Do I use the power and authority I have for God’s glory?

Think about it.  We often know what we should do…the question is, do we do it?!  The Lord’s commands (forgiveness, prayer, service to the poor, justice, etc.) are not nice things to think about in our spare time.  They are dictates from on high that are meant to enliven us and fill us with grace, peace, and joy.  The problem of course is that our own ego can get in the way and redirect our energy away from God.  In these moments, we search our conscience (Remember the Examination of Conscience last week?) and return to the Lord.

And while we are examining our hearts, we have the opportunity to put into practice the power and authority we have in a 1001 ways.  Consider:

  • Family, Friends, Acquaintances, Colleagues, Classmates
  • Strangers, Enemies, Chance Visitors
  • The Environment, The Legal System, Local Government
  • Any place where our lives touch another…

Since all power comes from God and flows through us, it might be helpful to recall that one day we are going to stand before Jesus Christ.  With loving eyes he will look into our souls and ask what we did with the gift of life we were given.  It’s not the mistakes we made that will be hardest to bear, but the opportunities we missed to good with what we had.  Perhaps today we might reflect on the Lord’s commands for our lives, and reconsider how we might put them into practice with the power we possess.


21st Sunday of the Year – Keys

Keys

Study:  Recall a time when you were entrusted with power.  How did you use it?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for guidance over the things and situations in your control right now.

Serve:  How can you help someone who is struggling with a decision of leadership?  How can you offer solid support?

21st Sunday of the Year Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily

Take a look at the keys in your pocket.  As you hold them, think about what they do:

  • The doors they open
  • The cars they open & start
  • The authority and power they reveal

Keys allow us access and empower us with authority.  Keys give us control over our physical world and they help us to use resources wisely and well.  They are also symbols that speak to identity and purpose – just think about what happens when our keys are lost or taken from us….

In the first reading and the Gospel today we discover the power of God’s keys:

  • Key of the House of David
  • Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

These promises to Eliakim and St. Peter are mighty – they will receive the power, authority,and  responsibility from God lead and guide.  Consider these three points:

Power: they receive the strength and ability to carry out the work entrusted to them.  Power gives them resources and skills to accomplish great things.  Without power they are weak; with God’s power they can do more than they ever dreamed possible.

Authority: these keys are a sign of leadership and respect.  The keys they possess allow them to direct and command others.  Those who hold the keys are followed; those who hold the keys stand before us and provide wisdom, insight, and vision.

Responsibility: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” (Luke 12:48b)  With great power comes great responsibility, and those who have been given strength and ability are required to use it with wisdom.  Indeed, having the keys of Authority are a burden to demonstrate transparency, accountability, and trust.

Again, look at the keys in your pocket.  How do we use them?  Today we might consider the gifts and talents God has given us: we have an opportunity at this moment to exercise our own power and authority with God’s guidance, knowing that one day the Lord will seek an accounting with what we have done.

May our own keys inspire us to live with conviction and direction – using the resources we have received with the insights offered by our faith in Jesus Christ.  The Lord is the source of all keys, may we call upon him to help us use them!