AUTHORITY OVER EVIL

Tuesday, 22nd Week in Ordinary Time   

            Two things about Jesus stand out in today’s gospel reading: First, he teaches with authority: “His word was spoken with authority.” Jesus spoke with authority because powerful deeds confirm the truthfulness of his teachings. Second, he has authority over evil: “He commands the evil spirits with authority and power.”When Jesus ordered the evil spirit, “Be silent, and come out of him,” and it came out of the possessed man, Jesus revealed that he had come to overpower evil. He had come to liberate the human person from sin and from all its oppression.

            Are we conscious of the fact that as followers of Christ, as baptized Christians, we share in his authority to teach and in his authority over evil? Are we allowing God’s authority to work in us and through us?

            The world is already bored with empty words and meaningless slogans. What the world needs now are powerful deeds accompanied with words of authority. Let us constantly and humbly pray to God that our words may carry power and authority. May our words always be good news to others.

            Someone said, “It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts.” “But that promise is a lie…for evil has lost its power at the hands of Jesus Christ.” Indeed, by his resurrection, Christ destroyed the seed of evil. He has already given us, through our baptism, a share in his power over evil. That is why, St. Paul calls us “Children of light and children of the day.”

            Therefore, we, as believers, have within us the spiritual resources to defeat evil gradually. For example: When someone hurts us, ignores us or rejects us, a deeper inner protest emerges – it can be anger, resentment or a desire to take revenge or to retaliate. It is precisely here that we have to dig deep into our spiritual resources to defeat evil, by finding and summoning that power within us – the power that enables us to forgive from the heart…to overcome evil done to us, by compassion and love. We have the power to do good to those who do us bad, the power to forgive those who hurt us, the power to love even the seemingly unlovable and unloving. Indeed, we have this power, we have this authority. Christ has shared with us this power over evil. Let us use it then in our daily life.

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