Power, Authority and Humility

Thursday the 2nd Week of Easter

Acts 5:27-33 Psalm 34:2 and 9, 17-18, 19-20 Jn 3:31-36

The readings today lead us to reflect on the relationship between Authority, Power and Humility. In the Acts of the Apostles the court officers do not like hearing what the Apostles are telling the people – they are on the “hot seat” and they know it. They say to the apostles – “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.” - There is a truth in this statement that they want to avoid.

They then try to exercise their power and authority to silence the Apostles teaching – they are trying to imprison the Gospel and avoid their responsibility in the death of Christ.

Let’s take a moment and place ourselves in the shoes of the court officials. The best way that I can think of doing this is to put myself in the role of being a Father, and having to correct my children who have blatantly disobeyed me. How do I feel? – hurt, angry, upset. What is worse is when my children are correct and reflect to me how I have gone against God’s will. These accusations pierce to the heart.

How do I want to respond (how do I normally respond) – with Anger, misusing my Power – and abusing my Authority. Authority is the legitimacy of my position where I exercise power (in this case, as the Father), or here as a Deacon. Power is the ability to affect change in the people (the people of God, or the People of my family). When I misuse my power, I end up undermining my own.

So God has given us Power and Authority – but for a right use. He calls us to use our authority legitimately – to exercise our power with love. In order to be effective at this we need to rule from a place of humility.

Actual humility means that we are rooted in the Truth of who God is, and who we are in relationship to God. We understand that we are His most beloved of all creatures. The more we practice humility, the more we are able to hear the truth of what is being said or done, and the more we are able to exercise our power and use our authority to build up the Kingdom of God – to make good disciples of those whom we are given power and authority to guide in our lives.

Let us pray today for the Humility to enter into an honest relationship with God , and the courage to exercise our power and authority with justice and love.

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