"On what authority are You doing these things?" —Matthew 21:23
Sadly, many modern-day Catholics dare to act as their own authority. They ignore or reject the authoritative teachings of the Church in matters such as artificial birth control, sterilization, premarital sexual activity, abortion, etc. Instead, they place themselves in authority in these matters and make their own choices.
This widespread rejection of godly authority in matters of personal moral behavior resembles the situation in the Old Testament time of the Judges. The author of Judges sums up the scenario as follows: "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what he thought best" (Jgs 17:6; 21:25). The widespread selfish behavior in those days resulted in a nation living in godlessness, chaos, and lawlessness.
When Catholics act as their own authority, they are in fact rejecting the authority of King Jesus, Whose feast we celebrated three weeks ago. When we do what we think best without regard to God's authority, we act as if there is "no king" (Jgs 17:6); we act as if Jesus is not the King Who has given His commands to His Church. Are we praying "Your kingdom come" (Mt 6:10), but living a lifestyle that rejects Jesus as our King?
Repent! "Make ready the way of the Lord, clear Him a straight path" (Lk 3:4). Submit to the Lord's authority, and change your behavior to live under the authority of King Jesus. Seek His authority and His kingship over you, and He will give you all things besides (Mt 6:33).
Prayer: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt 6:9-10). Come and reign over me, Christ the King!
Promise: "Good and upright is the Lord; thus He shows sinners the way." —Ps 25:8
Praise: A disappointed suitor accused St. Lucy of being a Christian and she gave witness to her faith in Jesus by martyrdom.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010
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