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Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Taking the Gospel to Prayer

Obviously, this text shows us Jesus' power over evil. At His command, the man is freed from demonic possession. In that alone, we find food for prayer: Lord, I know that all creation is subject to You. I place all of my needs in Your hands and trust that You will care for me.

Perhaps a challenge for prayer is that this text revolves around authority. Checking various dictionaries will give you different slants on how precisely to understand this word. But the definition is not my point as much as the contrast that the word is used to illustrate.

The crowd was attracted to Jesus because He spoke with authority which did not seem demonstrated by scribes. They see Him as giving them "A new teaching with authority." Our saint of the day was denied the religious life that she sought and, ultimately, this direction from authority brought her to a different place where God used her to transform education.

I offer a second prayer to consider: Lord, I struggle when authority conflicts with my personal preferences or group pressure. Guide my conscience that I might follow Your authority in all things.