Updated: Dec 14, 2021
13TH DECEMBER 2021
MEMORIAL OF SAINT LUCY, VIRGIN AND MARTYR
Psalm 25:4-5ab.6 and 7cd.8-9;
Gospel Mt. 21:23-27
After casting out the animal-merchants and money changers from the Temple immediately after the Palm Sunday procession, Jesus started teaching in the Temple courts. Hence, the chief priests and elders of the people approached Jesus, questioning his authority to enter the city in a triumphal procession, allowing the children to acclaim him, curing the sick, casting out merchants and money changers and, teaching in the Temple area. It was a trap. If Jesus claimed Divine authority, as the Messiah, they would bring a charge of blasphemy. Jesus could not claim only human authority without denying His very Being as Son of God as well as Son of Man. But even if He could, His arrest as a mad zealot would give scandal, another sin, and would damage the simple Faith of the people in the Temple and what it stood for, destroying Jesus’ whole Messianic Mission.
So, Jesus refused to answer, unless they would first answer His challenging counter-question about John the Baptist and his message – was this from God or man? Was this Divine or human? If they answered Divine, the questioners would be asked to explain why they had not accepted John’s message and his witness-bearing that Jesus was the Messiah. If they answered human, they would have to face the anger of the crowd who had accepted John as a prophet. Hence, they kept silent, opting for shameful self humiliation.
In religious matters, we should not ask the question of whether our stand is safe, politically correct, or useful. Instead, we need to stand for truth with the courage of our Christian convictions even if it costs our life. The awareness of the authority of Jesus helps us to approach Jesus in the right way and also to recognize his power in what he can do for us. We mostly question the authority of Jesus when we rely on our human capacities to get whatever we need when pride speaks louder and humility and forgiveness are forgotten in our interpersonal relationships.
Saint Lucy pray for us.