January 29

 

Reflection

The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
Mark 1:21-28

 

Jesus spoke and acted with authority. He didn’t offer the same old thing, the empty works-religion of the scribes and of our culture, a “good-enough” religion. Jesus spoke straight to the heart. His words lifted them up; he preached something completely new and radically different. This was astonishing. These people would have listened to him with close attention. Jesus was such a break from what had gone before. He taught what was new, but it was more than that. He spoke with complete integrity – what he said was what he lived. In public life, power at all costs was the priority not integrity. Jesus did not seek power; he sought truth. As a people used to oppression from power this amazed them.

Prayer

Help us to be true to what we know is right and give us the ability to walk in integrity of heart.

Action

Where in our culture do you see religion used to foster power?  Does its rhetoric ensnare you? How can you practice integrity and foster truth in your own life?

Suggested Reading

Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus 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…
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee
Mark 1:21-28

This is what God asks of you
only this-
that you- act justly
love tenderly
and walk humbly
with your God.
Micah 6:8

A life lived with integrity – even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune is a shinning star in whose light others may follow in the years to come.
Denis Waitley

Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Miguel Angel Ruiz

Power is actualized only when word and deed have not parted company.
Hannah Arendt

Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity himself, than straight forward and simple integrity in another.
Charles Caleb Colton

I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.
Abraham Lincoln

If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.
Alan Simpson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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