May 30, 2015
Saturday, 8th Week in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Sirach 51:12-20
Gospel: Mark 11:27-33
Jesus and his disciples were once again in Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law and the elders came to him and asked, “What authority do you have to act like this? Who gave you authority to do the things you do?”
Jesus said to them, “I will ask you a question, only one, and if you give me an answer, then I will tell you what authority I have to act like this. Was John’s preaching and baptism a work of God, or was it merely something human? Answer me.”
And they kept arguing among themselves, “If we answer that it was a work of God, he will say: ‘Why then did you not believe him?’” But neither could they answer before the people that the baptism of John was merely something human, for everyone regarded John as a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know,” and Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you what authority I have to act as I do.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
When asked for his credentials as cleanser of the Temple Jesus didn’t show the Pharisees any until he had checked on their level of faith. If they had no faith to speak of in the first place, why bother to establish his authority? They’d only accuse him of blasphemy, as in fact they did. To a man who believes no explanation is needed; to one who does not believe, no explanation is possible.
In checking the status of their faith Jesus asked them to evaluate first the ministry of John the Baptist who preceded him. This caught them off guard because they never believed in the ministry of John the Baptist. But they had to keep this unbelief to themselves out of fear of public scrutiny since people held John the Baptist a great prophet. They had no choice but to give this default denial: “We do not know”.
You see, they couldn’t even stand for their own conviction that John the Baptist was a charlatan! This exposed the status of their faith. Jesus thus found no use telling them the truth about his divine credentials. And so He told them, “Neither will I tell you what authority I have to act as I do.”
Faith is necessary in order to recognize the power of Jesus. Poor status of faith, or the absence of it, explains why some person’s major decisions are executed without consideration for the teachings of Jesus. Why factor in Jesus’ teachings when in the first place they do not recognize Jesus’ authority because they do not have faith in him?
In situations like this, Jesus will leave us where we are. He will not even bother to convince us of the legitimacy of his authority because he respects our freedom. To a man of faith Jesus’ power shines forth; from a man without faith, Jesus shies away. Let us strive then to deepen our faith and open our lives fully to the power of Jesus. – – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM., MAPM. (firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org).
Prayer for the day: God our Father, grant us the grace that deepens our faith so that we may submit ourselves totally to the power of Christ who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. JOAN OF ARC, was born to pious French peasants in January 6, 1412 at the village of Dohremy in France. At a very young age she heard voices from St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret, giving her personal or general messages. But in May, 1428 the voice told Joan to see the King of France and help him re-conquer his kingdom. She was 17 when with a small army she merged victorious in the siege of Orleans. More Victories followed and King Charles was able to enter Rheims and be crowned with St. Joan at his side. In May, 1430 she was captured by the Burgandians who sold her to the English. King Charles and the French did nothing to save her. She was imprisoned, tried, and was condemned to death. Thirty years after she was declared innocent of all the accusations that caused her martyrdom.