Our Marianist high schools were strong at the 2019 March for Life in Washington DC on Friday.
President Trump and Vice President Pence surprised thousands of protesters demonstrating against abortion on the Mall in Washington by making unannounced speeches at the 2019 March for Life.
Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, strode onstage to cheers of a roaring crowd carrying antiabortion posters and banners. Pence concluded his remarks with a second surprise: Trump, who addressed the march by video feed last year, had again prepared videotaped remarks for the marchers.
“When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, we see the beauty and the human soul and the majesty of God’s creation. We know that every life has meaning,” Trump said .
WE find out from today’s Gospel passage that Jesus has many followers. “Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them.” This might seem to make Jesus a popular person, successful in his work. But within today’s Gospel passage there is a confusion of aims. The aim of the friends of he paralytic was his physical healing. Jesus does not dismiss their search, but he sub-ordinates it to a higher aim: the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus could have spent His earthly life working physical cures and raising people from the dead. Had he stuck to these aims alone, He would have remained popular. There’s no telling how successful He might have become in the eyes of the world!
But it was not for fifteen minutes of fame that He came into our world of sin and death. It was to die that He dwelt among us. Give thanks that Jesus shows us how to put our mission above popularity, and how to put the aim of death before that of earthly life.
The word “authority” is used twice in today's Gospel. Both times the word authority is applied to Jesus. In both cases, astonishment or surprise is evoked by the fact that Jesus teaches with authority. Why is there this surprise, and what does it mean for Jesus to teach with authority?
In the culture that surrounds us, every person believes himself to be his own authority. In effect, this wide-spread belief means that no real authority exists. In our society there is a great need for clarity about the meaning and purpose of authority.
At its most literal level, the word “authority” comes from the word “author”. The author of a novel can create worlds of his own design from his imagination. Laws of physics need not apply. Strange creatures can exist, and fantastic events are commonplace. Great authors have the authority to create worlds and races of creatures, and to confer life on and take life from individuals. However, this is merely a fictional form of authority. In reality, there is only one Author of creation.
Jesus, as God from God and Light from Light, is this divine Author. Through His divinity He has authority. He exercises this authority throughout the three years of His public ministry for various persons, and for all mankind on Calvary. However, in the face of His exercise of divine authority, astonishment arises for varied reasons.
Most cannot believe that a mere man could exercise divine authority. Jesus, of course, was not merely a man, even though He was fully so. In our own lives, we should not be astonished by the authority or power of Jesus. We should root our daily lives in His desire to grant us His grace.
Today we hear from the beginning of the Gospel of Saint Mark.
Today is a day of beginnings.
Today points us in the direction of God the Father.
Christ sustains all things by his powerful word. For those who are willing to abandon everything in this world, Christ confers the gift of everlasting life.
Such men are the apostles Andrew and Simon, James and John. They leave everything to go off in Jesus’ company, having received a commission from Him to become “fishers of men.” They are called to share in the life of Christ, and at this point, they have no idea what this will entail. This is how beginnings always are: we have no real idea of what is going to transpire in the future. If these four men had known that each of them would share deeply in the suffering of Christ—three of them, through martyrdom, and Saint John, at the foot of the Cross—it is unlikely they ever would have left their boats.
At the beginning of this season of Ordinary Time, let us pray for the grace to be faithful to the calling which we entered into through Baptism.