Christ said, “I am the Truth”; he did not say “I am the custom.” - St. Toribio (1900 – 1928: Mexican martyr)
Gospel text: (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.”
Truth in the head is not enough. It is truth in our actions where wisdom is found. The chief priests and the scribes in our gospel were smart people. They paid attention to their scriptures and their traditions. But they failed to pay attention to the man Jesus, and lacked wisdom.
Biblical knowing is being in relationship. Eternal life (unending wisdom) is being in loving relationship with Jesus. When his thoughts are our thoughts, when his will is our will, and when his loving heart fills our loving hearts, we are “in Christ.” Then we are truly wise.
We walk each day in balance with being in the world as we strive to not be of the world. In our calling to be with and for others, we are in a constant state of tension between the wishes of God and the demands of the world. We cannot however let the daily challenges of the world reduce our fire for proclaiming the Gospel.
Let us not make the same error as the priests, scribes and elders who when challenged simply avoided truth by saying “We do not know”.