1 Kings 12:26-32; 13:33-34 / Mark 8:1-10
Whenever it comes to the topic of authority and religion, much can be said and much can be left unsaid.
Yet, it cannot be denied that authority and religion are not mutually exclusive; in fact they are distinctly connected in some areas.
In the 1st reading, king Jeroboam used his authority to turn the hearts of his people away from the God of Israel to worshipping idols.
That is the adverse effect of authority on religion especially when the motives are far from religious.
King Jeroboam used his authority to secularize the sacred.
But the warning at the end of the 1st reading pointed out the dire consequence of such a deed. Eventually, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was annihilated.
But when authority is understood as a position of service, then authority will look into how people are fed and taken of.
In the gospel, Jesus multiplied the loaves to feed the people. He did this to show God's authority in providing and caring for people
In a way, Jesus was showing that as long as we care for people, then God will provide.
Our mission is to sanctify the secular, so that the presence of God can be seen in all aspects of life. God's authority will provide whatever we will need for this mission.