How Jesus Uses His Authority

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The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Carlos S. Lariosa, SVD (Christ the King Seminary, Quezon City)

Tuesday 1st Week of Ordinary Time

Photo: Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil : Arne Müseler /

“Young man,” an old lady was talking to a boy,” can I speak to someone here with little authority?”

“Ma’am, you are just talking to the right one. There is no one else around here with so little authority!”

Authority comes from the Latin word, augere, meaning to make grow. If we base our understanding on Christ’s pronouncement that all authority comes from above, then authority becomes a gift, a service, a privilege, and not as the world’s understanding of lording over, or following the expression, “What are we in power for?” 

In the gospel today, I discovered two intriguing points. The first one is regarding the man with an unclean spirit who rightly described Jesus of Nazareth as the Holy One of God. He recognized Him as one who had the power to destroy him, yet he did not believe Him. It proves that knowledge is not enough for one to believe and follow the Lord. Following the Lord needs the grace of faith and conversion.          

The second point is why Jesus did not allow the man to proclaim what he knew about Him. I think Jesus knew the bad intention of the devil, which was to destroy Him.  This became obvious when the unclean spirit from the outset of the encounter asked if Jesus came to destroy him. The right time had not yet come, and proclaiming the kingdom of God could have created more obstacles for Jesus then. Jesus used His authority to encourage growth in people. That is what all other authorities should do. 

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