Commentary on the Gospel of

Mary Elizabeth Sperry - Bible Diary 2023 - Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

The people are amazed that Jesus teaches with authority. He even has the power to command demons – and they obey him! But the authority that Jesus wields is not like the authority exercised in our society by political leaders, corporate executives, and even the leaders of school or neighborhood groups. All too often these people exercise authority for their own benefit: giving benefits and jobs to friends, allies, and benefactors; enriching themselves at the expense of workers, the poor, and the environment; taking the best for themselves and ignoring others’ needs.

Jesus’ authority is very different. As Saint John Paul II explained, Jesus taught that to reign is to serve. Those in authority are called to be public servants, seeking the common good and the benefit of all, especially the most vulnerable. This understanding has its foundation in the first reading. God has made human beings in his image and likeness and given them dominion over all things. Therefore, each person has dignity and inestimable value. The task of those in leadership, supported by our prayers and civic commitment, is to uphold that dignity and treat each person as a precious child of God.


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