Thursday, February 04, 2010

Kingdom: Power and glory?

An interesting theme kind of pops up in today's readings: sovereignty. It's not an everyday sort of word, but we find it in the first reading (1 Kings) and the Responsorial Psalm (which is really from 1 Chronicles), and the Gospel has something mighty close to it when telling us that Jesus gave the Twelve "authority." Of course, authority is not the same thing as sovereignty, but they do have something in common. We see what kind of "authority" the Twelve have as they go out, "preaching repentance" and (showing that this authority has real power behind it) casting out demons (not to mention curing the sick through an anointing).
At the end of the Gospel of Matthew, the Risen Jesus tells us that "all authority in heaven and on earth" are his, and in that authority, he sends his Church to "make disciples of all nations." If anyone can claim the sovereignty, it is he (that canticle from 1 Chronicles makes that clear enough), but what Jesus is concerned about is authority, because that is something we can share effectively even in this life. (When it comes to the fullness of life, it will be the "one Christ loving himself" so even the sovereignty will, in a sense, be something we share!)

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