The John Paul ll Center Blog
Blog 7: Be Transformed - The Father’s Authority
By: Dr. Bob Schuchts
You will receive power when the
Holy Spirit comes upon you and
you will be my witnesses.
Are you familiar with this experience of not trusting authority and feeling like you have to figure things out on your own? In one way or another, it is a shared human experience on this side of Eden. Some of us are more aware of it than others, perhaps, because our individual life circumstances make it more obvious. But all of us are subject to this tendency toward ungodly self-reliance, which is as old as history itself. Ultimately, it is rooted in the serpent’s lie in the Garden of Eden suggesting that we can be our own self-appointed authority, knowing what is good and evil, apart from God (see Genesis 3).
…You may ask, as I have: what can heal us collectively and individually from this primordial wound of confusion and disorder? Since the wound is rooted in distorted perceptions of the Father’s authority and our rebellion against his authority, the antidote must be the opposite: restoring our understanding of his authority and humbly submitting to that authority in our lives. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If confusion is the result of everything being out of order, then the restoration of God’s plan, putting everything back in its proper place, is what is needed to give us clear vision and understanding of God’s holy order.
Jesus our Model
Who better than the Father’s only begotten Son to show us what holy order looks like? This is precisely what Jesus did when he came to earth. He honored his mother and father and obeyed them (Lk 2:51), he submitted to the proper authorities, and above all else he humbly submitted himself continually to his Father’s mission and authority. Through his entire life, death, and resurrection, he only did what the Father showed him and told him to do (Jn 5:19, 12:49).
Jesus’ holy submission to his Father’s authority provides a beautiful lesson and model in humility for all of us (Phil 2:5–9). Unlike Adam, who rebelled against God’s authority and submitted to the father of lies, Jesus never ceased trusting in his Father’s goodness and guidance, even when the father of lies tried to deceive him (Mt 4:1). Jesus did not set out to blaze his own path but willingly submitted to the Father’s ordained way in all things. Ultimately, the Father granted full authority to Jesus, restoring to mankind the dominion that was lost when Adam disobeyed (see Matthew 28:18).
Holy Orders Heals the Wound
…Do you see how the sacrament of Holy Orders is God’s healing remedy to correct the unholy disorder that came into the world with original sin? Through this sacrament, the Father who is the author of all things reestablishes his authority through those who bear his image, so “that the people of God abide in the truth that liberates” (CCC, 890). This authority is not just for certain groups in the Church but for the entire Body of Christ. And it is not just for the Church; it is intended by God for the healing the entire world (CCC, 775). Where original sin attempted to abolish God’s fatherhood on earth through Adam’s rebellion, this gift of God’s fatherly authority in Christ (Holy Orders) seeks to restore it for everyone. It is the bond that holds God’s family together, reestablishing his Trinitarian order where chaos and ungodly control have reigned in the world. Every single one of us is called to be a priest of Christ, each according to his or her respective calling. The ministerial priesthood serves the common priesthood of all believers (CCC, 1547). Furthermore, those ordained by Jesus are commissioned to see that every person in heaven and on earth learn to freely “bow their knees before the Father” so that all can discover their true identity in Christ (see Ephesians 3:16).
Excerpts from pages 87-89,-91-92 of Be Transformed
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- What’s The Joy of The Lord All About?
- Blog 10: Be Transformed - Raised to Life
- Blog 9: Be Transformed - Pure and Undefiled
- Blog 8: Be Transformed - God’s Faithful Love
- Blog 7: Be Transformed - The Father’s Authority
- Blog 6: Be Transformed - Anointed with Power
- Blog 5: Be Transformed - Abiding Presence
- Blog 4: Be Transformed - The Father’s Beloved
- Blog 3: Be Transformed - God’s Powerful Blessings
- Blog 2: Be Transformed - How We Reflect God’s Glory