Jesus does not give them power, but authority over evil




  1. The Lord calls us to be, to live with Him.

The Gospel text that we have just heard is preceded by some words from the same evangelist, Mark, in which he says how Jesus called some to be with Him, to live with Him.

The first and most important thing is to be with the Lord.

In the realm of Jesus, one is well, one lives in peace: one has “one’s head and thoughts in the right place,” “one’s heart is in the right place,” and the great questions of life have their meaning and direction.

Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591) would say it differently: “my house being now quiet.”

Living in the Lord is a calm and peaceful life. Christianity is not about neurotic anxieties or desires of a religious, moral, or ecclesiastical nature, which can end up causing a lot of harm.

Even when sin catches us in life, it is not a cause of anguish or unhealthy guilt. The good thief, the lost son, the adulterous woman, Mary Magdalene, Peter, etc. know a lot about the peace that comes from meeting the Lord…

A church of “Belorados”, “Viganos”, “Beccius”, of ideological clashes and hierarchical maneuvers or of despotic superiors of power and without authority, has nothing to do with the be with the Lord or with the Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, come and rest…

Jesus calls us to live with him. May your peace not be disturbed. Do not lose your calm.

  1. He sends them on a mission with authority over unclean spirits.

Power and authority

Living in peace with God, being with the Lord, He sends them – us – on a mission.

There is a certain solemnity in the sending of Jesus to his own. Jesus sends them on a mission with authority over sickness, over evil, over unclean spirits.

The sending does not refer to priests, religious, bishops, etc., but the mission to heal and expel evil spirits from humanity is directed to every believer: Go and spread the good news, peace, the will to live, the breath of life; heal damaged psychology (unclean spirits).

Power and authority.

Jesus does not give them power, but authority; which is not the same as power and authority.

can

Power is the authority that a person or institution can hold because it has been granted to them by the ballot boxes, by votes, or because such person has been appointed to a certain position or office, parliamentary seat, chair, etc. by whoever can do so.

Such power will certainly be legitimate.

But today “power” almost always means “control”, “government”, “imposition”. And this is our misfortune.

Many politicians, bishops, and priests have power, but no authority.

authority

Authority It is a much more noble question. It comes from the Latin “increase” (to make grow) and indicates the capacity that a person has to make others grow.

A person has authority because of his goodness, his noble competence, his healthy and healing presence in a group, in the family, in the community, town, Church…

It may be – and often happens – that a person has legitimate power, but no authority. We experience and suffer this every day in society, in families, in political life, in dioceses, in ecclesiastical structures, etc.

We need people with authority but we almost only have powerful people.

  1. Neither bread nor bag. Walking stick and sandals: live and evangelize in poverty

The Church, once it became the official religion of the Roman Empire (from the 4th century / Constantine) has lived in many stages under the protection and with the support of some can political, economic, ideological or of its own ecclesiastical power. The ecclesiastical system is too accustomed to living and acting from a level of superiority that is not very evangelical at all.

It is true that at times the Church has become simpler: in the times of John XXIII, Paul VI, and now with Pope Francis it is recovering the sense of service. Its authority is not temporal power, but goodness, mercy.

It is good for the Church to lose economic and political power, because this dispossession brings us closer to the movement that Jesus started when he sent his disciples out two by two, without bags, without money or a spare tunic, and with only one mission: heal the sick and cast out demons.

To evangelize and expel unclean spirits, you don’t need a saddlebag, money, or even the “x” on your tax return. For the mission, it is necessary to be with the Lord, faith and authority.

We may have power and means, but authority and faith are lacking.

  1. They healed and cast out demons

Jesus does not send his people on a mission of a cultic or religious nature. Colloquially speaking, Jesus does not send his people to celebrate liturgical acts in the villages. Jesus’ mission is humanitarian: to heal the sick and expel demons.

It is the best thing we can do in life: heal, relieve, that is being a Christian.

It is striking that the great concern regarding the shortage of clergy is that there is no lack of the 12 o’clock mass in such a town/parish, and if there is, at least one nun or lay person reads the gospel and gives communion.

The bishopric is not concerned about whether the ministers are well, calm in their mission. The ecclesiastical power is not interested in whether there are sick people, unemployed people, prisoners, people living alone, etc. in that community, it is concerned about the rites.

Jesus’ concern was different: feeding, curing lepers, restructuring damaged people and personalities (the possessed), bringing life back, etc.

We are called and sent by the Lord to live with him in peace and serenity and from that experience to do good, to relieve, heal, expel demons.

Let us heal afflicted hearts and cure the diseases and ills that we can.

 
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