Authority is an interesting word that for many may bring up memories of teachers, work
supervisors, world leaders, those highly educated. Yet how many of us as children knew that especially when Dad spoke, we listened; for he spoke with authority – his voice demanded our listening. Such was the case for the people who were listening to Jesus.
In today’s First Reading from the Old Testament we heard about how Moses spoke with authority, not because he thought of himself as more educated than others, but by the invitation and plan of God that would give him the words he needed to persuade the people he was called to lead. Unlike Jesus, Moses was not God; he was an ordinary shepherd whom God called to do extraordinary things. We are more like Moses. Ordinary people who when in relationship with God can do a multitude of extraordinary things, the least being bringing others to Jesus Christ.
Can you speak with authority about your faith in Jesus Christ? Are you a willing participant in the invitation and call you received in your baptism? For many of us who are parents we understand the responsibility we have to teach and guide our children and in doing so we indeed speak with authority. What we must remember whether we are parents, grandparents or a member of the Church, we are called to speak with authority in regard to our faith.
Does this mean that we must be in continual conversation with our youth, taking every available moment to speak to them of faith in Jesus Christ? I think not. For to do so would not achieve the outcome we hope for; that they would come to love Jesus and His Church. The use of too many words can squelch our well laid plans.
The familiar phrase: “Actions speak louder than words” can apply to our need to speak with authority about our shared faith. As an example, when I was a child my parents did not speak incessantly about praying. They simply taught their children their prayers. But I learned about the importance of prayer when I saw them kneeling at their bedside every evening. In living our lives with honesty, being a person of integrity, having compassion
for others, reaching out to help those in need and setting an example of daily prayer, we speak with great authority to those who witness our lives. Let us all think about this.
Let us become aware of how the way we live speaks to others. And may what Jesus taught as he journeyed echo in our hearts as a voice of authority.
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC