Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday: The Authority Problem

The chief priests and elders put a question before Jesus that is not a stranger to us in our Church today: "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority." It is also that same question which, either directly or indirectly, is put before parents by their teen-aged "prodigies." Perhaps it is basically a question that can be expressed this way: "Why do I have to look up to others?"

There are many "hot buttons" in our faith experience today for a variety of topics that relate to our daily lives. Surely the respect for authority in our Church today is very different from what it was in the 1940s and 1950s. Likewise for civil society the challenge to authority is stronger than ever.

So, what should we consider this morning ... it's morning where I am today. In the Church we have to address in an open and honest manner this question: Where does this authority come from? Well, Jesus does not allow himself to be trapped by those confronting his power. Today, we have to look at what it means for us to proclaim, "Yes, I am a Roman Catholic." How do I respect the teachings of the Church? Am I open to dialog with others? And, even we must ask if the local Church leaders are willing to listen to those who have great difficulties accepting Church teachings. These are not easy questions. But, faithful Catholic, you are challenged by them each day of your life.

Any looking up requires stretching!