13th of December

Publié le 12 Décembre 2021

Gospel text

(Mt 21:23-27): 


When he 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.


The Application


People who are seeking authority and power, wish to equalise themselves with Jesus, by knowing the source of His authority. Since the authority of Jesus has a salvific finality, Jesus won’t associate the source of His authority with of others. He will rightly ignore them and go ahead, by giving them an opportunity for a genuine question and answer. Shouldn’t we learn from Jesus, to deal with our adversaries?


We should however recognise that a sacred silence before a God of love and mercy don't do any charity to us, rather it will lock us in ourselves, so that the grace of reconciliation does not enter our hearts.  Lord, help me to speak, to speak with you, in all sincerity and openness. Help me, Lord, to listen to you than to speak. Lord, help me to speak less and to put into practice all that you tell me daily.


Action of the day: Use your authority and knowledge for the service of the humanity.


“What authority have you to act like this? Who gave you authority to do all this?”


Fr. Melcior QUEROL i Solà

(Ribes de Freser, Girona, Spain)


Today, the Gospel looks at two aspects of Jesus' personality: His shrewdness and His authority. Let's take his shrewdness first: He knows the heart of man deeply, he knows the inner life of all those who approach him. And when the High Priests and the authorities are sent to maliciously ask him: «What authority have you to act like this? Who gave you authority to do all this?» (Mt 21:23), Jesus, who knows their falseness, replies with another question: «When John began to baptize, was it a work of God, or was it merely something human?» (Mt 21:25). They do not know what to answer, because if they say that it came from God, they would be in contradiction with themselves for not having believed it, and if they say that it came from men they would be up against the people, who saw John as a prophet. They find themselves painted into a corner. Cunningly, with a simple question, Jesus has exposed their hypocrisy; He has given them the truth. And the truth is always uncomfortable, it can knock one off balance.

We should have the shrewdness of Jesus, to knock that which is a lie off its kilter. So many times the sons of darkness use all their astuteness to achieve more money, more power and more prestige; while we sons of light seem to have our asuteness and imagination somewhat asleep. Just in the same way that a worldly man uses his imagination to serve his interest, we Christians have to use our talents to serve God and the Gospel. For example: when one is before a person who speaks ill of the Church (as often happens), do we know how to respond with a reply that stops them in their tracks. Or, in a work environment, with a colleague who lives only for himself and “doesn´t give a damn”, do we know how to return good for evil? If we love him as Jesus did, our presence will be “uncomfortable” for him.

Jesus exercised his authority because of the deep knowledge he had of people and of situations. We are also called to have this authority. It is a gift that comes from above. The more we try to put everything in its place —the small things of every day— the more will we know how to deal with different people and different situations, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.


Rédigé par JOHNBOSCO

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