The recurring word in the readings this weekend (Fourth Sunday) is authority. It is used very differently to the words ‘authoritarian’ or ‘authoritative’. The authority of Jesus is fulfilled in his passion and death on the Cross. It is the complete opposite to our understanding of authority. The words of Jesus are completely the same as His actions. His authority is rooted in His identity as the Son of God and our Saviour on the Cross. It is an authority of love rather than control. It is the same authority and integrity that we have received in our baptism and as followers of Jesus Christ. Our authority is to love and to serve not to dominate and control. The readings this weekend strengthen us to live life with this assurance and authority that we are all children of God with a unique dignity and character. These words are crucial in our world where it is increasingly difficult to live the Christian life when truth is relative and everything is changing and in flux. Today we hold fast to the ‘authority of love’ and cherish the Eucharist where it is celebrated. Our baptism is valid and precious and our faith in God gives courage, strength and wisdom in a challenging and changing world. Fr. Michael