Saturday, May 30 ~ Eighth Week of Ordinary Time
Holy Gospel: Mark 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.”
Meditation: Many religious leaders took offense at Jesus because they could not accept his authority. After Jesus had dramatically cleansed the temple of the traders and money-changers the Jewish leaders question Jesus to trap him. If he says his authority is divine they will charge him with blasphemy. If he has done this on his own authority they might well arrest him as a mad zealot before he could do more damage. Jesus, seeing through their trap, poses a question to them and makes their answer a condition for his answer. Jesus told his disciples that “the truth will make you free” (John 8:31). Do you know the joy and freedom of Christ’s rule in your life?
Prayer: Grant us, O Lord, we pray, that the course of our world may be directed by your peaceful rule and that your Church may rejoice, untroubled in her devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: Knowing that the laws of God and the teachings of Christ and his Church will truly set me free, do I fully embrace these timeless truths – challenging as they may be because they may be contrary to what our society says is okay to do, or what some human legislative body or what the Supreme Court says is legal to do? Do I embrace the false teachings and fads of our society because I choose not to be challenged by God’s laws, Christ’s teachings, and the teachings of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church? A fundamental question, and one that each of us must answer honestly – the eternal life of our souls are at stake. Jesus invites us always to follow him. Do you follow him?
Scripture passages (NAB translation) courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops;
prayers are from The Roman Missal, Catholic Book Publishing, 2011;
information about saints, solemnities, feasts and memorials courtesy of Catholic Culture.