thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Monday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings may be found here
God is the only true Sovereign. Human beings certainly wield legitimate authority over others, but that authority is always subject to the Sovereignty of God.
In the First Book of Samuel, the people demand that the prophet appoint a king over them “like all the nations.” They have forgotten the truth of God’s providential care of them and Samuel warns them that earthly kings will rule with selfishness and corruption. We see that reality on display in the odious tale of corrupt Ahab and his scheming wife Jezebel. They are so entitled in their self-importance that they murder an innocent man in order to seize a vineyard – a paltry price for the ruin of their souls.
The exercise of human authority must always be watched and limited because of this temptation to the selfish use and abuse of authority. Above all that human authority is limited by its accountability to the Creator.
Jesus, the true Sovereign, exercises the power of love. As He teaches today in the Sermon on the Mount, He summons us to that same authority which does not need to win or dominate, but ever seeks the truth and the good of the other.