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A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 1:21-28

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, "What have you to do us with ? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!: Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!" The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, "What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirit and they obey him." His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee. The Gospel of the Lord.


Today is my mother's birthday. She was my comfort, my compass. Whenever she was with me, I felt this authority--she stopped my fears and she always had the answers. She worked for God through her family and in church. She showed me how to be kind ,compassionate and generous. She poured God's love into me. Her nurturing bond continues now years after her death.

My parents were my first caregivers--my first authority. They set me up with the ground rules, taught me right from wrong, introduced me to God and His family. They guided me to the path of adulthood. When they spoke they spoke with authority and I never worried. When my parents had a word with me, I was all ears and disobeying them never crossed my mine. It was never an option. One look was all that I needed to straighten up.

Don't we feel more comfortable, more at ease when we are with someone in authority, some one else making hard decisions or directing us? My mother had human authority but Jesus speaks with divine authority . He brings healing and deliverance.

What did I learn from my mother that applies to my relationship with God?

1. In spite of the sinking feeling of being lost or failing, my mother reassured me that I was dearly loved. When my trials and tribulations , my illnesses, my family seem to overwhelm me , I hear Jesus' tender voice assuring me that I am dearly loved. Can we keep an attitude of trust and humility believing that God's word has the power to set us free and transform us?

2. My mother only needed to "look at me" and I recognized her authority. Pray that we recognize the authority of God, who even unclean spirits obey Him. Ask the Lord to place us under his authority.

3. In receiving Jesus, we become part of His family. My mom taught me that family was very important and through baptism I have become a member of the Catholic Church. Receive Jesus in the Eucharist--keep getting closer to the teacher, the guide, the High Priest. Read his word, meditate on His love.

Until we meet again in prayer , mom, through the heart of Jesus. Thank you for never giving up on me, God.

PAPA Foundation
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