Wednesday, November 20, 2013


A pundit with whom I usually agree recently asserted that Christ "empowered" his disciples, in the sense of accomplishing great works, and even miracles. While this is true, it deserves a little reflection to understand rightly.

I can't think of an instance when Christ performed a miracle without giving thanks to the Father first. I can't think of an instance when Christ accepted Satan's dare to show power in some prideful way; that's the lesson of the temptations at the end of the 40 days' fast in the desert. Turn the stones into bread? No. Leap off the top of the temple so that He could summon a host of angels to save him from the law of gravity? No. And at the end, save Himself from the unbearable agony of the cross? No, not even that, though I think we can all agree that the very human temptation to do so must have been enormous.

Always, He lifts His eyes to Heaven and gives thanks to His Father. There in the Father's hands, He taught us, is where real power comes from, the kind that doesn't just tinker, but transforms.