Thankfully, the election season has well passed, and the newly elected have taken their offices.
Sadly, many are duped by powerful and eloquent speakers whose real agenda is hidden, whose promises are grandiose and false, and whose motives are frequently simply self-aggrandizing. And in this disingenuousness we all too often find too late that we have been instrumental along with many others in electing the wrong person. Unfortunately, it may take as many as two or four or six years to have an opportunity to correct our mistake. And the next candidate may be no better than the one we displace.
Not so with Jesus—no politician, He¹. Jesus simply spoke and taught with authority as we hear in today’s Gospel reading. Jesus clearly showed that He understood and respected the human situation and people’s needs. He always acted for the good of others. His was a new word, a new way, a new teaching. And many came to recognize that He was truly the Messiah, the anointed one, the Holy One of God.
We, too, would do well to strive to be so in tune with the people around us and their lives that we can speak and act with the same authority and integrity of life that Jesus did. We would do well to strive to love as Jesus loved, with an agape² love, which is self-giving, life-giving love.
¹I often wonder whether Jesus could be elected in these times!
²Agape (unconditional, self-giving) is one of four different Greek words for Love, each with its own different and nuanced meaning. The other three are Storga (affection), Eros (attraction), Philia (friendship). All but Eros are used in the New Testament. But this is not a Greek lesson. I will save that for another reflection if I can recall any more Greek vocabulary. My most recent final Greek exam was in June 1954! But stay tuned!