Monday of the Third Week of Advent
December 16, 2019
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
Where was John’s baptism from?
Was it of heavenly or of human origin?
Jesus was questioned by Jews, by whose and which authority was he is teaching at the Synagogue. There was a process to teach the Scriptures in the Synagogue, one must go through the Law of Moses in the Temple and commissioned by the Temple authority as a Scribe who was authorized by the Temple authority to teach and preach. Jesus trespasses this process and starts teaching without the approval of the temple authorities.
We have two areas to reflect on today’s readings , first one is obedience to the Church and the second one is obedience to the God’s Word. If we take these two areas in the current context we may get confused which is greater than the other. The Church is the system where the God’s Word is deposited in a Bank. God’s Word is always safe when it is used in the adherence of the Church teachings. Church teachings do not contradict the Word of God but throws light in the true context. When Jews asked Jesus that question , they were not wrong but Jews could not look at the Jesus answer in the question he put on them. The question itself had the answer if the Jews had true Wisdom. In the first reading, the spirit of God came upon Balaam and he gave voice to his oracle. Jesus and John the Baptist were Prophets through their words and deeds because they spoke the Word of God and did the Works of God. Jews should have accepted them because they were speaking the Scriptures and not contradicting them. If the Jews had the true authority of God to defend the scriptures they would be glad to listen and redeposit the treasure of life in the Temple Treasury but they took offence towards Jesus and John as out casts in the Worldly traditional Law of Knowledge and missed the meaning of the true Law of Moses.
This is happening even today in our local Churches and Communities. We have many Prophets speaking God’s Word and doing God’s Works in our time but we take offence at them saying they are not Christians or Catholics or one of our Church member. What is important to see is if that person speaks and Witnesses God’s love, rest of the things are irrelevant or only the rules and regulations to recognise and safeguard true fragrance of God’s love. The ministry of Ecumenism and inter religious dialogue are the need of the hour which Church must promote to recognise the Voice of God in other faith and denominations. The individualism is the strategy of the Evil which is spreading rapidly in our nations, families, political system but true Christians must recognise the grey areas of these system and go beyond these systems with fellowship and love. These individual Worship is an idol Worship of self centredness and self love which make oneself or one nation or one race as God and breaking the first and fundamental Commandment and Law given by God to Moses.
If we see worldwide the Political leaders , Entrepreneur’s, Individual Churches, promoting these individual values and winning elections , profits, numbers in majority but in all of these actions there is no God’s love and forgiveness but hatred of our neighbor for selfishness and Pride.