4th Sunday B January 28, 2024

To teach with authority means not the words spoken, but the actions that follow the words. Jesus spoke not only with his words, but with his actions. It may be that the actions were more important, it is only later that we look for his words.
So often we hear someone speak and later we look at their actions. If the words and actions are out of sync, we reject both.
Jesus spoke the love of God and he acted on that love of God. He chose to share God’s love on the sabbath, for the love of God is more important than the rules of humans. In his actions, as well as his words, Jesus taught about the love of God for others.
We often speak of the Old Testament and New Testament God. The Old Testament God is often seen as a God who punishes people for their inconsistencies. Jesus, being the second member of the New Testament God, chose to look beyond the actions of the person and love the one created in the image and likeness of God.
Jesus chose to share the healing love of God on the sabbath saying that the love of God is more important than the rules of humans. Humans can get caught up in laws and forget the love of God.
Part of the ordination rite, is when the man to be ordained is handed the book of the gospels, the bishop says to the candidate:
“Receive the word of God.
Believe what you read,
Preach what you believe,
And practice what you preach.”
In the words of Francis of Assisi:
“Preach the gospel always.
And use words when necessary.”
We are all called to live lives of authority, just as Jesus did.