Daily Reflection – Dec 14, 2015
Monday 14 December 2015
First Reading: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17
Teach me your ways, O Lord
Gospel Reading: Matthew 21:23-27
Today’s Saint: St John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church
When Jesus 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.”
Who gave you this authority?
In today’s Gospel, Jesus enters the Temple and begins to teach. The powers that be – the chief priests and the elders of the people – clearly recognise that Jesus teaches ‘with authority’ (Mt 7:29), but his authority did not come from them. They question him on the source of his authority but, as he so often does, Jesus responds to their question with a question of his own. The chief priests and elders cannot agree on answer and when they respond ‘We do not know’ they end up undermining their own authority.
The psalm reminds us that merely knowing the ways of the Lord is not enough: we also need to walk in them, to act on them. The psalm also calls to mind the Church’s preferential option for the poor: ‘He guides the humble in the right path/He teaches his way to the poor’. May we be poor and humble enough to be guided and taught by the Lord.
Let the response to the psalm be our prayer for today: Teach me your ways, O Lord.