Notice how often words like “authority,” and “power” occur in the gospel today. It is Jesus’ own authority and power. Most teachers quote other teachers, or experts. Jesus doesn’t appeal for the validity of his teaching to a well-known rabbi of his day, nor do his powerful deeds come from anyone less than his “Abba.” He gets his authority straight from God. How did he get this authority and power?
It is our belief that as God he had this from the beginning; but it is fascinating to me to observe that, in his humanity, the gospels tell us that, very often, Jesus withdrew to pray. It was as if he recharged his battery by spending time alone with God. This is a model for us: “Be still, and know that I am God,” Isaiah tells us. And, after their exciting successes, when the disciples return home, Jesus says to them: “Come aside and rest a while.” This is good advice for us, too, don’t you think?
So what does Jesus’ invitation to “come aside” mean for me today?
—Robert Braunreuther, S.J. is a Jesuit of the New England province. He assists in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago where he is also minister of the Arrupe House Jesuit community.