“Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us. In your Love and tenderness remake us.” — A Song of Anselm
Reading the personal testimony of Pope Francis opened awareness of the quality of authority based on higher levels of understanding than merely lording it over others, as Jesus describes the pagan version of political authority. Jesus warns those who listen to Him and believe what he teaches that the authority of scribes—who feel superior because they know the Law and apply it to those they judge to be ignorant or in some way inferior—is not the full quality of God’s good news for humanity.
God gave the Mosaic Law authority, not to become a weapon to use against another, but to help us relate to all that is alive. This law touches the heart, unless we have become stone-hard-hearted. Pharisees and scribes used games to try to play “gottcha” in order to undermine the goodness of Jesus’ authority in teaching the Law of Love, which frees and restores the wholeness of humanity and restores personal authority, as in confidence, and trust.
The Goodness of the Good is the perspective of God which Jesus defends with His Authority, by word and act in His Life among us. His pattern still breathes and is alive in us. Let our hearts respond naturally, freely. If we let this true word with divine authority mold us into yielding our defensive attitudes and convictions of rightness to trust and learn from the beloved Teacher Jesus, His grace brings us to maturity in His spirit of perfect love. The authority of His Spirit will open opportunities for us to be co-workers with God, and do what restores peace in relationships with our family, our communities, and more. For God’s generous loving kindness has no constraints. He is able to overcome evil with good, using small gestures and words that touch the alienated and the excluded, and extend kindness and generosity as Jesus’ disciples learned and then offered. Find the Goodness of the Good, and use that generous-hearted regard—not the judgement perception—to extend respect and give worth to each other, as God does, through Christ.
Holy and Merciful, Almighty and Transforming Goodness and Love, we lift our voices in this time to ask, seek, knock to find your presence among us in this Lenten season. Prepare us for the beauty of Easter, and restore us who hope in You.