Monday, October 14, 2019

Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 352

1st Reading – JUDE 17, 20B-25

Beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand
by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit.
Keep yourselves in the love of God
and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
that leads to eternal life.
On those who waver, have mercy;
save others by snatching them out of the fire;
on others have mercy with fear,
abhorring even the outer garment stained by the flesh.

To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling
and to present you unblemished and exultant,
in the presence of his glory,
to the only God, our savior,
through Jesus Christ our Lord
be glory, majesty, power, and authority
from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 63:2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (2b) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
my lips shall glorify you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus will I bless you while I live;
lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

Alleluia – SEE COL 3:16A, 17C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly;
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 11:27-33

Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem.
As he was walking in the temple area,
the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders
approached him and said to him,
“By what authority are you doing these things?
Or who gave you this authority to do them?”
Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question.
Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”
They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”–
they feared the crowd,
for they all thought John really was a prophet.
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”
Then Jesus said to them,
“Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

The Desire for Authority and Admiration

Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs

“By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” Mark 11:28

This was the question that the scribes and Pharisees put to Jesus as He entered the temple area to teach. Jesus had been exercising His authority through His preaching and through the many miracles He had performed. This exercise of His divine authority caused much jealousy and envy in the hearts of the religious leaders of the time. So they came forward to trap Him with this crafty question.

The first thing to point out is that these religious leaders clearly did not ask this question because they wanted to know the answer. They asked it because they were trying to find fault with Jesus. But Jesus outsmarted them.

Because Jesus knew that their only intent was to trap Him, He set a sort of trap for them in return. He asked them a question and told them that if they answered this question, He would answer theirs. He asked them by what authority John the Baptist baptized. The religious leaders then went to discuss this question and in their discussion it’s clear that they were not discussing the question so as to arrive at the correct answer. Rather, they were discussing what the most politically beneficial answer would be. In other words, they didn’t care about the truth of the question, they only cared about the outcome of the answer. The outcome they wanted was one that benefitted their agenda and their own power.

What a dangerous road to walk down! This is, of course, an accusation made very often toward politicians. Though not every politician falls into this trap, it is a trap that some fall into. When we are consumed with a need to gain power and respect within the public eye, we will often be tempted to say or do that which we judge to be the most popular and that which paints us in the best light. But this is not the way a Christian, and especially a religious leader, must act.

Our goal must constantly be the clear, unambiguous truth. We must work hard at letting go of a desire to look good in the eyes of others. Though it’s nice to look good, the only opinion that ultimately matters is God’s. His “opinion” is not an opinion, it’s Truth.

Reflect, today, upon the tendency you may face to be deceitful at times so as to present yourself in a false way. Do you worry too much about the opinions of others? Do you act and speak only to benefit your personal agenda and desires? Or are you committed to honesty and sincerity? Choose the honest path and our Lord will give you a share in His holy and divine authority of love.

Lord, I pray that the example set by the scribes and Pharisees will help me to turn from deceitful ways and help me to daily embrace the truth. I pray that, as I enter more fully into Your Truth, I will also share in the authority of Your holy love. Jesus, I trust in You.

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