Saturday, May 28, 2016

Reflection: Mark 11:27-33

Saturday of the Eighth Week of Ordinary Time - Mark 11:27-33

Today Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they immediately went up to the temple. As they entered the temple, the chief priests, scribes and elders approached Jesus. 

Immediately they asked Jesus: “By whose authority are you doing these things?” (healing, teaching and preaching)   Jesus does not react to this question.  Rather He remains calm and then He turns the tables on them.  Jesus tells them that he will ask them one simple question. If they answer him honestly, Jesus promises to tell them on whose authority and power he acts.

Jesus then asks them: “Was John’s baptism of human origin or heavenly origin?”  The chief priests and scribes huddle together to decide how to respond.  However, there simply was not a good answer.  They realized that if they said that Jesus’ actions were of heavenly origin, this would only strengthen the people’s belief in Jesus.  However, if they said that his actions were only human, they were concerned how the crowd might react to this statement. Clearly, many in the crowd believed in Jesus.
The chief priests and scribes did not know what to say.  Jesus had boxed them in and they could find no way out.  Finally, they simply gave a noncommittal answer: “We do not know.”  Jesus stood his ground and faced them down.  He stood in his truth.  Then He quietly, yet firmly said: “Neither will I tell you on whose authority I act.”  One by one, the chief priests quietly slipped away.

Are we able to follow in Jesus’ footsteps?  Do we talk about what we believe about Jesus and God? Are we willing to be vulnerable and profess what we believe?  This is not easy to do in today’s world, but Jesus gave his life for us!  Are we willing to profess our belief and trust in Him? I invite you to sit quietly with this question for a few moments.  What is your answer?

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