So, I didn’t attend mid-day mass today and decided to make it up by attending evening mass instead. The sermon on Mark 1:21-28 was the shortest I have heard in a while but very insightful and powerful. Fr. Philip asked us directly what kind of Christians we were. At first I was confused because by its very definition, Christianity meant follower of Christ so obviously I was a person that followed Christ. However, this was not what he was getting at.
He referred to Mark 1:22 which says “The people were astonished at the way he taught, for He spoke as one having authority and not like the teachers of the law.” He asked us whether we were the followers of Christ who spoke with authority. There he had me. What did it mean to speak with authority? My mind went to motivational speakers and diplomats who I was surrounded with in my childhood, who would speak with confidence. They spoke with authority.
Fr. Philip narrowed when a Christian speaks with authority to 3 things;
1. When you possess the Spirit of God within you: Without the Spirit of God within you, your utterances would be intellectual at most and you would be powerless against the guiles of your adversaries.
2. When you know who you are: You must know your weakness and your strengths if you are to speak with authority as Jesus did. The devil knows your weakness and will always seek to take advantage of it, so you too must also be aware of your weakness and leverage on your strengths instead. Indeed, it is only those who do not know who they are in Christ Jesus that quiver at the hint of any wickedness or challenge that they encounter.
3. When you know the source of your authority: When you know God who is the source of your authority, then you will speak with authority. This knowledge of God cannot be superficial and merely intellectual. You must aspire to know Him as Jesus knew him to the level of intimacy that empowers you to speak with authority.
He challenged us to speak with authority in 2017. He challenged us to stand out in our practice of Christianity and to empower ourselves, as we not only strive to possess the Spirit of God within us, but know who we are in Christ Jesus and in turn strive to know God as He truly is.
So, I ask you brethren, do you have authority? Will you speak with such authority? Watch the power that flows when you do. May we imbibe this in Jesus name we pray. Amen.