Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
“With authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
The desire for power is a very forceful stream that runs hidden in the psychic atmosphere of today’s culture. I do not say it is the only stream. There is, for example, a deep desire for security and peace, and harmony. Yet the way to get such security, peace, and harmony is often hidden in the ancient yearning for power. In fact, it is so ancient that it can be seen as diabolical or satanic. It goes back all the way to Satan’s temptation in the garden: “But the snake said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil” (Gen 3:4,5).
Power and control is very tempting for a human being. It’s quite understandable why it should be so given the reality of the need to make one’s way in a world, natural and man-made, which is often scary and threatening.
But the One who came into the world with authentic and final authority – power – taught, by his life and by his words, that we make our way in this world by humility and love. Pope Francis, in speaking to the deacons of Rome this past June, put it in these words: “for the disciples of Jesus, to love is to serve and to serve is to reign.”
St. Paul put it to his converts of Thessalonica in our first reading today: “God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.”
Reflection by Fr. Xavier Nacke, OSB