MONDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT DECEMBER 16, 2019
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 21: 23-27
When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?" Jesus said to them in reply, "I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. Where was John's baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?" They discussed this among themselves and said, "If we say 'Of heavenly origin,' he will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?' But if we say, 'Of human origin,' we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet." So they said to Jesus in reply, "We do not know." He himself said to them, "Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things."
REFLECTION: "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?"
The gospel today shows us how shrewd Jesus was when dealing with the teachers of the Law and the Jewish authorities. There was something about Jesus that kept drawing the lawyers and the High Priests. They were perplexed with Him and the authority He had. Had they thought that Jesus was crazy or demented they would have left Him alone. But Jesus shared the message of God through love, mercy and miraculous healings. The crowds likewise saw something in Him as they continued to follow Him. But the arrogance and pride of the leaders made them question His very actions."By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?" With one question, Jesus was able to leave the authorities speechless.
When we go out to spread the Word of God, do we let naysayers bother us? Are we under the authority of God, and therefore, do not fear when we go out and talk about God? Do we know Jesus well enough to know what He would say? As a shrewd business man do we Catholics use our talents to serve God? Do we know what to say when someone speaks ill of the Church? Do we have a reply that will stop many in their tracks? Do we return good for evil? Do we leave Blessings no matter what? Do we know the Catholic catechism well enough that we can answer questions?
May the Holy Sprit gift us with the ability to speak the truth and to always be able to face our adversaries for the Kingdom of Heaven.
God Bless You.