Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are:you are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus faced him and said
withauthority, “Be silent, and come out of this man!” The evil spiritshook the man violently and, with a loud shriek,
came out of him.All the people were astonished, and they wondered, “What isthis? With what authority he preaches!
He even gives orders to evilspirits and they obey him!” And Jesus’ fame spread throughoutall the country of Galilee.
A cardinal ingredient ofauthority is authenticity. Wemeet two
such people intoday’s readings. Jesus, who isauthenticity
incarnate, talks andacts with authority—he teacheswith authority
and casts outevil forces with authority. Hisauthenticity is so great
that theevil spirits acknowledge him tobe who he is and obey him.
Theother person of authenticitywe meet is Hannah who poursout
her soul before the Lordand from whom prayer flowsas continuously
as her verybreath. She is bold enough todefend herself before
suspiciousEli, who in turn, recognizes herauthenticity and blesses
her. Ifthe authority of Jesus comesfrom his authenticity as God,the
authority of Hannah comesfrom her authenticity as awoman of faith
standing beforeGod. Those who do not claimtheir rightful authenticity
andauthority before God and theworld can only sit around andget astonished.