Saturday, June 1, 2013

For apart from me you can do nothing

"The Church of Christ, zealous and cautious guardian of the dogmas deposited with it, never changes any phase of them. It does not diminish them or add to them; it neither trims what seems necessary now grafts things superfluous . . . but it devotes all its diligence to one aim: To treat tradition faithfully and wisely; to consolidate and to strengthen what already was clear; and to guard what already was confirmed and defined." – St. Vincent de Lerins: Commonitoria (5th Century)

(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.”

The religious leaders of Jesus' time asked Him: "On what authority are You doing these things?" (Mk 11:28) Jesus could have told the religious leaders about His divine authority. He could have also given them authority in His name over every disease and demon (see Mt 10:1). However, Jesus neither answered their question nor gave them a share in His authority because they refused to be honest with Him. When Jesus asked the religious leaders about the origin of John's baptism, they "played politics" rather than answer Him directly.

We will never understand or exercise true authority if we are playing games with God.

Some of the games Christians play are: "politics," "denial," etc. If we try to play games with God, we will never know His authority or our own. So let's quit dabbling in Christianity. Let's repent of being lukewarm (see Rv 3:16). Let's forget about how we look to other people. When we do this, our Christian life will manifest an authority that we have never thought possible.

Then the eyes of the blind shall see, and the ears of the deaf be opened; then the lame shall leap like a stag, and the mute tongue sing for joy” (Isaiah 35:4-6).

The good news is not obscure!

So who do you think Jesus is? Open your eyes today, and see him for all his splendor and majesty. He isn’t distant. He hasn’t hidden himself. He is there, inside your heart and in your family, waiting for you to find him. Go ahead and ask, seek, and knock. He will answer!

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