Memorial of Saint John of the Cross

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.

The peace of the Lord be with you.

There is so much we do not know. There is always so much to learn. Today’s reading encourages us to think about what motivates us to seek these answers out. In some respects, these religious leaders were trying to protect the gift of faith that they have been given, and in other ways they were trying to protect their own power and authority. Knowing the truth and knowing the facts are part of stewardship. An important element of stewardship is humility. It is very natural for us to be inquisitive and it’s always important to learn new things but may we approach these yearnings with humility and an appreciation for our limitations. May we continue to be drawn into the mystery of God’s creation and have the humility to ask God how we are to use what we have learned.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Monday, December 14, 2020