Authority, Power and Holiness

These three attributes all come from God, but not in the same way.  Those in authority, with the power to do great things, often have it thrust upon them, like a mother or father.  As well, a man or woman, when elected to a high office, go from having no authority or power to all at once having a lot.  Well authority and power are good and should be used to love and serve others, we know that is all too often not the case.  Unfortunately, people often think they deserve the authority and power God has allowed them to have, and don’t look at it as a gift and responsibility.

Then there is holiness.  This can come with earthly authority and power, but it’s real authority and power is far greater, much different and often unnoticed by the world.

When we read the Christmas story in the Gospel of St. Luke, there is an interesting list of people:

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.  This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.  -Luke 2:1-5

We are told of the following people in order:

  • Caesar Augustus – ruler of the entire Roman Empire.  Thought of as a god by Romans.
  • Quirinius – Governor under Caesar with authority over the region of Israel.
  • Joseph – head of his family with authority over Mary and her Child.
  • Mary – Wife of Joseph and mother of her unborn Child.
  • The Child – an unborn baby under the authority and protection of Mary and Joseph.  He is completely dependent on them.

This is how the world sees these people at the time Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem with their unborn Child.  However, that is not what God sees.  In God’s eyes, the entire list is reversed:

  • The Child – The Son of God – the Second Person of the Holy Trinity – all powerful, eternal and creator of all things.  He has complete authority and power over all.
  • Mary – The Mother of God – immaculate – full of grace – She is holier than any other created person and the most powerful saint in heaven.
  • Joseph – The Foster Father of the Son of God – righteous and good, Joseph is second only to Mary in holiness.
  • Quirinius – just a man.
  • Caesar Augustus – just a man, not a god.

Now, the authority given to Caesar Augustus and Quirinius is real.  God allowed them to have authority over the Holy Family.  But the true authority, the real power and the holiness we all seek – came from the Child – and those close to Him received His grace.

3 thoughts on “Authority, Power and Holiness

  1. Good Morning Mike.  I received this Sacred Thinking quite a while ago
    and was hoping for more but have not received any.  I am just writing to
    ask if you send them out any more?  If so, please include me in your
    writings.  I do enjoy them very much.  Thank you and have a blessed day.



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