Monday, December 14, 2015

I suppose the most revolutionary act one can engage in is ... to tell the truth.

"Truth must be sought at all costs, but separate isolated truths will not do. Truth is like life; it has to be taken on its entirety or not at all. . . . We must welcome truth even if it reproaches and inconveniences us -- even if it appears in the place where we thought it could not be found." - Venerable Fulton John Sheen (1895 – 1979: Was an American bishop of the Catholic Church) 

Gospel Text: (MT 21:23-27)
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.”

Today, the Gospel looks at two aspects of Jesus' personality: His shrewdness and His authority. Let's take a look his shrewdness : He knows the heart of man deeply, he knows the inner life of all those who approach him. And when the High Priests and the authorities are sent to maliciously ask him: «What authority have you to act like this? Who gave you authority to do all this?» (Mt 21:23), Jesus, who knows their falseness, replies with another question: «When John began to baptize, was it a work of God, or was it merely something human?» (Mt 21:25). They do not know what to answer, because if they say that it came from God, they would be in contradiction with themselves for not having believed it, and if they say that it came from men they would be up against the people, who saw John as a prophet. They find themselves painted into a corner. Cunningly, with a simple question, Jesus has exposed their hypocrisy; He has given them the truth. And the truth can be uncomfortable; it can knock one off balance.

So many times the worldly man uses his imagination to serve his own interest, we Christians have to use our talents to serve God and the Gospel. For example: when one is before a person who speaks ill of the Church (as often happens), do we know how to respond with a reply that stops them in their tracks? Or, in a work environment, with a colleague who lives only for himself, do we know how to return good for evil?

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