12 July 2017
Jesus gave his Twelve apostles “authority over unclean spirits;” even to Judas Iscariot he gave that authority. Judas himself had the God-given power to drive demons away, to “cure every disease and every illness.” But, from what we know of him and his activities, it doesn’t appear that Judas ever used that power.
It’s similar to the parable of the talents. God gives to each of us certain gifts and strengths. And by virtue of our having been baptized, and our sharing in the Eucharist, he also gives us a certain “authority” over evil, despair, hopelessness, and sin. God puts the tools for living well right into our hands. He simply asks that we use them, and not let them go to waste.
It’s as if God has given us each a bucket of seeds, and he’s said, “Now, go make good things happen.” Well, we wouldn’t want them to go to rot, so we put those seeds to good use. In a similar way, God gives us the power and the ability—for example—to trust him. But if we never use that power, we’ll never know what it’s like to be a disciple of the Lord. We’ll never know what real hope and love are. And we’ll never be able to convince others that faith in God is a good thing.
Our own personal growth and the growth of the Kingdom of Heaven depend a lot on us using the gifts and the powers God has given us. We’re not God, of course. But, we do have a part to play in his vision. Each of the apostles had a role to play in the Kingdom. And so, we have to ask: What’s my role? What’s your role? We each have one.
God gives a mission to each one of us. May he give us the wisdom to know what it is, and the strength to do it—for our good, the good of others, and for his glory.