Faith Daily | 29 May 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p522
O God, who taught the hearts of your faithful people
by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:
grant us by the same Spirit
to have a right judgement in all things,
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the same Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 11: 27-33
27 Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him 28 and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” 31 They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Ian McCarthy
No doubt many of us throughout life have had to submit to the authority of a senior person. Whether it be in the school, University or College, workplace, Government, Church or even maybe as a volunteer for an organisation or local society.
Undoubtedly, there may be times when we seriously question the authority figure’s decision because we simply didn’t agree with them or it was unfair and caused a biased outcome.
Yes, Brothers and Sisters, I have been in that very position a number of times throughout my earlier University student days and ongoing later working life when I directly questioned the authority of the leadership. In summary, I simply would not accept the umpire’s decision.
However, in this interesting and revealing reading from Mark 11:27-33 we note that this Gospel account is about a different aspect of authority namely, “divine authority” displayed by Jesus.
Jesus had only been staying in Jerusalem for approximately three days when the Sanhedrin, chief Priests and scribes, including the elders, questioned Jesus about his authority to do “these things”(v.28).Basically I would suggest that “These things” refer to the cleansing of the Temple. However, this particular question may possibly have highlighted all of Jesus’ actions, including His humble and highly symbolic entrance into the city.
However the question posed by that city’s authority leadership(Sanhedrin etc) is certainly a trap.
Furthermore, within this historical era in time, if Jesus makes explicit Messianic claims, the Sanhedrin could then refer him to the Roman officials as an ongoing threat to the peace of the community. Ultimately, this is exactly what occurred.
But Jesus does not appear to accept their challenge and in the particular style of Rabbinic debate, Jesus poses a counter-question to them: ”Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?”(V.30).Ultimately this response turned the tables in the challenging debate and therefore placed the Sanhedrin in an impossible position as Mark illustrates in vv.31-32.
Perhaps if the Sanhedrin had acknowledged the divine authority of John’s work, Jesus could not only have accused them for not believing John, but could have claimed his own work was an extension of the Baptiser’s.
In summary, in this particular instance Jesus had definitely won the debate.
FINAL PRAYER: Selected by Ian McCarthy: “Ecclesiastes 1:9” from “On shore of Time”.A Collection of poems and sketches by Monica Van Der Byl. (1925-1994).
“That there is no new
thing under the sun”
is doubtless true
and yet to everyone
a fresh discovery of things.
Though elements remain the same
juxtaposition in the frame
of individual context patterns them anew
for every man. Each is his own
original with view
distinct from other,
his path unique, unknown
untrodden by his brother.
He travels on the urge
of exploration in the hope
that through each successive surge
of experience will emerge
from life’s kaleidoscope
the ever clearer line
of his particular design