"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

Luminous Mystery—Proclaiming The Kingdom [8 of 20]

The Daughter of Jairus, c. 1863 by Carl Heinrich Bloch

hird Luminous Mystery—Proclaiming The Kingdom. "And preach as you go, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without pay, give without pay" (Mt 10:7-8).

There is a famous quote from the comic story Spider-Man written by Stan Lee that goes “A great power must be accompanied by—a great responsibility!” An earlier reference of this same quotation is traced to a speech by then Under-Secretary of the British Colonial Commissariat, Winston Churchill, in 1906, who said, “Where there is great power there is [a] great responsibility, where there is less power there is less responsibility, and where there is no power there can, I think, be no responsibility.” In the Bible, two millennia ago, we have, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more" (Lk 12:48).

What does it mean to be responsible? Often we look at it as a function or accountability. In civil society, responsibility could be seen as a duty, right or privilege, a quid pro quo, or a tit for tat. The dynamic of responsibility, however, has far more value than meets the eye, especially when juxtaposed with power and love. I wondered if all parents did what they did just out of sheer duty or function e.g., raising a child, bringing up a family. For me though, it cannot just be doing one’s duty for duty’s sake. There is more to it. I call it love. With great responsibility comes great love. Seeing a mother taking care of a fetus in her womb to the point of even endangering one’s own life, cannot simply be called one’s exercise of duty. If it were just that then to hell with it because there would be no difference at all from a mother monkey and its babies. I know of so many who did things, great things selflessly even if in the eyes of society they were not held responsible for doing such acts.

The true exercise of duty and responsibility flows out of great love. Responsibility not anchored on love becomes merely functional, mechanical, and tiring. Since on its own it cannot be sustained and many resort to other means through the use of power rather than love and it becomes self-destructive, self-driven but without a clear direction. Power does not want to die out and would resist powerlessness. There are many dictators, in the past and in the present, who wield a form of power through gerrymandering or the art of achieving a result by manipulating and usurping even more power. It is like the ancient image of a snake that is swallowing its own body. There is a proverb, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The antidote to this is genuine love. St Thérèse of Lisieux once said, "You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them."

With great privilege comes not only great responsibility but great love. The more opportunity you have, the more responsibility you have.” I will now talk about love. What is love aside from being the source of responsibility and the antidote to power? Well, with love anything is possible. With great love comes great power and with great power comes great love. I am not saying that the two are interchangeable or equal. In fact, love still is much greater. Unlike power, love has all the capacity to let go for the sake of another. That is why it is the very principle of life. Love brings forth joy and life. It heals, it comforts, it brings peace and serenity and it never dies. Where it ends it begins again. It is the eternal and never-ending fount of life. The dynamic between power and love is when power creates there is an effusion of love. Each created being is touched by this kind of selfless love which gives the created being protection and dignity all throughout its existence. Every creature is said to be drawn out of love. Every being has love as its essence, an essence that is the very essence of its Almighty Maker.

Love is capable of something that power is incapable of doing. Power has an end when it becomes powerless. But in powerlessness, love continuously abounds and triumphs.


or our reflection on the third luminous mystery—Proclaiming the Kingdom, what moves Jesus to do all his miracles? Was it out of duty or responsibility? Was it just to manifest his power?

Fr JM Manzano SJ


  1. As I read your reflection, I can feel your heart is full of love, Fr. JM. Out of the abundance of the heart, words of love spring forth...Many sentences you have written here, resonate and are close to my heart...Like...“To whom much is given, much will be required” (Lk 12:48)...The true exercise of duty and responsibility flows out of great love... With love anything is possible... And the most touching sentence for me is... Every being has love as its essence, an essence that is the very essence of its Almighty Maker... Love is our essence...And this we proclaim and live so others may too proclaim and live...Thank you to the nth power..gawing natin to the 8th( with a grateful smile) ...for inspiring me much to love and be loved...Wow! I love this reflection! Answer... Jesus loves! Grazie mille, Fr. JM! GLU!

    1. Thanks for your kind words as you mirror to me the words that struck you as well. Truly we mirror in each other what is already present within us like the deepest realities about love and about God who loves. And to mirror to someone is to be humble knowing that the mirror only reflects or signifies what is not its own and that which it receives from another. God uses each of us as his mirrors no matter imperfect. I am reminded of the poem God's Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins:
      The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
      It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
      It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
      Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
      Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
      And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
      And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
      Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

      And for all this, nature is never spent;
      There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
      And though the last lights off the black West went
      Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
      Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
      World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

    2. Once again you amaze me with the depthness of your thoughts and richness of your knowledge...Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful poem that speaks through our being and invites us to keep on contemplating the beauty, goodness and grace of God in His cration and behold them in our hearts so that we may keep on loving, hoping and be faithful in doing for the good of all though with obstacles and hardships.. .With His bountiful graces and faithful love💕... Let`s keep on mirroring to each other the truth of His unconditonal and infinite love...Take care, Fr. JM! GBU!

  2. Thank you, Fr. JM, most especially for sharing your contemplation on the mysteries of the journey of Mary with JC...

    Indeed, if the exercise of power implies responsibility and being responsible can only be felt when you love therefore there must be no exercising of power without love.. Love must cover everything so much so that we may attain the purpose why we are created and much more the desire of God for us... As in the song "Up where we belong" said, LOVE LIFT US UP WHERE WE BELONG...

    Let me share with you the Lyrics of that song...
    Though it's quite lengthy :)

    Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes

    Who knows what tomorrow brings
    In a world few hearts survive
    All I know is the way I feel
    When it's real, I keep it alive

    The road is long
    There are mountains in our way
    But we climb a step every day

    Love lift us up where we belong
    Where the eagles cry
    On a mountain high
    Love lift us up where we belong
    Far from the world below
    Up where the clear winds blow

    Some hang on to used to be
    Live their lives looking behind
    All we have is here and now
    All our lives, out there to find

    Time goes by
    No time to cry
    Life's you and I
    Alive today

    Let us not be tired of reaching the top of the mountain... little by little, step by step, with our whole strength... Yet may we never forget to give our hands to those whose steps are becoming weaker and much more lend our backs to carry them when they cannot walk anymore... Everything we can do because we love... All the best, Fr. JM... For the Greater Glory of God! May He bless and keep you always! Thank you very much!


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