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Thursday, July 6, 2006

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St. Maria Goretti

Amos 7:10-17
Psalm 19
Matthew 9:1-8

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unprecedented authority

"At the sight, a feeling of awe came over the crowd, and they praised God for giving such authority to men." —Matthew 9:8

When Jesus instantaneously healed the paralytic, the crowd praised God not only for the healing but also for the authority Jesus exercised in the healing (Mt 9:8). People also had this reaction to the Sermon on the Mount. "Jesus finished this discourse and left the crowds spellbound at His teaching. The reason was that He taught with authority and not like their scribes" (Mt 7:28-29).

Jesus showed His authority over leprosy, sickness, people, the weather, and demons (Mt 8:1ff). Then, by healing the paralytic, He showed His authority on earth to forgive sins (Mt 9:6). Next, He gave His disciples "authority to expel unclean spirits and to cure sickness and disease of every kind" (Mt 10:1).

Unlike the devils, diseases, and storms, we don't have to submit to Jesus' authority. We can choose to rebel and do our own thing. We can make up our own religion by picking out what we want and trying to forget the rest. When Jesus manifests His lordship, we can be like the scribes who called it "blasphemy" (Mt 9:3). Willingly and thankfully submit to the authority of the Lord Jesus.

Prayer:  Jesus, I submit to Your authority in the Church, the Bible, parents, husbands, pastors, and leaders.

Promise:  "The Lord took me from following the flock, and said to me, go, prophesy to My people Israel." —Am 7:15

Praise:  Even after her death, St. Maria's faith and innocence won over her murderer to God's kingdom.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God, or on audio AV 43-1 or video V-43.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2005

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