Saturday of the 8th Week of the Year

Mk 11:27-33

The Authority of Jesus Questioned

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

The whole story is a vivid example of what happens to people who will not face the truth. They have to twist and wriggle and in the end get themselves into a position in which they are so helplessly involved that they have nothing to say. The person who faces the truth has its risks but at least the future of a truthful person is laid on a strong foundation. The person who will not face the truth has nothing but the prospect of a deeper involvement in a situation that renders him helpless and ineffective. (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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“Knowing he would die soon, a rich man had all his assets converted into gold bars, put them in a bag on his bed, draped his body over the bag of gold, and breathed his last. When he woke up, he was at the gate of heaven.

Saint Peter met him at the gate, and with concern look on his face, said, “Well, I see you actually managed to get here with something from earth! But unfortunately, you can’t bring that in.”

“Oh, please sir,” said the man. “I must have it. It means everything to me.” “If you want to keep that bag, then I’m afraid you’ll have to go, you know, the other place. You don’t want to go there believe me.”

“Well I won’t part with this bag.”

“Have it your way,” returned Peter. “But before you go, would you mind if I looked in the bag to see what is that you’re willing to trade for eternal life?”

“Sure,” said the man. ‘You’ll see. I could never part with this.”

Saint Peter looked in the bag and with a puzzled look on his face said to the man, “You’re willing to go to hell for…pavement?”

Just like the anecdote, the chief priests, scribes and elders in the gospel narrative today, had a difficulty letting go of their biases and prejudices against Jesus. They had made up their minds about what the messiah would be like.

Just like them, we act like Kristyanong Serado many times in our lives. We close our minds and hearts and will not entertain any other points of view. We tend to hold on to our own set of beliefs or ideas, “kahit magkamatayan pa.” today, our Lord Jesus challenges us to be more open to others and to God. He exhorts us, “Harden not your hearts.” Saint Augustine aptly said: “Lord you called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you showed and you dispelled my blindness.” (Fr. Randy Botial, SVD Bible Dairy 2007)

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May 28, 2016 Saturday

In L. Frank Baum’s The Master Key, a boy character quips, “Oh, if Shakespeare says it, that’s all right.”–implying that one can safely and cofidently believe anything Shakespeare wrote because he’s an authority.  Authority is such a curious thing, strangely manifested in proper names. Just quote Socrates, Nietzsche, or St. Teresa of Calcutta and people will not disagree with you even if you don’t understand their words.

For the Israelites in the OT, the notion of authority was of capital importance. Only the Word of Yahweh mattered to them—or so they said.

During Jesus’ time, the Pharisees and chief priests would piously invoke Moses’ or David’s name to justify their attitudes, beliefs, and behavior.

Remember the occasion when Jesus severely rebuked the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees?  “How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees,” Jesus roars. “You hypocrites! You give to God one tenth even of the seasoning herbs, such as mint, dill and cumin, but you neglect to obey the really important teachings of the Law, such as justice and mercy and honesty (Mt. 23: 23).”

So when they asked Jesus, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus dodged their trap, retorting, “Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.” As usual, Jesus outwitted the Pharisees.

And so Jesus did not tell them by what authority He did what He was doing. After all, what more evidence was necessary than: the blind could see, the lame could walk, the deaf could hear, the lepers were cured, the dead raised, and the Good News was preached to the poor (Lk. 7: 22).

Besides, before the hopelessly stubborn and blind Scribes and Pharisees, it’s better to keep one’s mouth shut.  Leonardo da Vinci once said: “Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” (Fr. Raymun J. Festin, SVD | CKMS, Quezon City Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/661-may-28-2016-saturday

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From Heaven or Earth?

May 30, 2015 (readings)

Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Father John Doyle, LC

Mark 11:27-33

Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the Temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?” – they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

Introductory Prayer: Once again, Lord, I come to you to pray. Even though I cannot see you, I trust that you are present and want very much to instruct me in your teachings. In the same way you demonstrate your love for me by spending this time with me, I want to express my love for you by dedicating this time to you with a spirit of faith, confidence and attention. Here I am, Lord, to listen to you and respond with love.

Petition: Jesus, grant me true sincerity and uprightness of life.

  1. The Day After:It was the day after Jesus had caused an uproar in the Temple at Jerusalem, the like of which had not been seen for a long time. Jesus had overturned the moneychangers’ tables and driven out the animals. Anyone else would surely have landed in prison, but this was Christ, and his hour had not yet come. Still the chief priests and scribes are looking for an explanation –– or better an excuse –– to accuse Jesus. He shrewdly answers their inquiry with a question that they cannot answer for fear of revealing their insincerity before the crowds. How this insincerity on the part of the scribes and Pharisees offended Our Lord! He would not speak to them plainly because their purpose was to twist his words. Do I detest insincerity as well? Do I find traces of dishonesty in my own life? Am I more concerned about what others think or about what Christ thinks?
  2. Why Did You Not Believe in Him?Jesus did not say these words, but they knew he could have. Their troubled consciences were aware it would have been a fitting accusation. Why had they not believed in the precursor of the Lord? Was it not for the same reasons that they would not believe in the Lord himself? John the Baptist had called them on their insincerity. They went to receive his baptism of repentance, but they did not really mean to amend their lives. Would Jesus have to reproach me for any insincerity? Do I ever go to receive the sacrament of penance without a real desire to change my life? Or do I avoid confession altogether because I really don’t see anything in my behavior that needs to change?
  3. We Do Not Know:This is certainly not the first or the last time that ignorance is pleaded to avoid the consequences of the truth, but this kind of ignorance is clearly culpable. The speakers were not uneducated men, but rather the leaders of God’s people, responsible for guiding them along the way of God’s covenant. While it was generally accepted that John the Baptist had been a great prophet who stirred sinners to repentance with his preaching and example of austerity, the Jewish authorities were unwilling to accept that anyone besides themselves could claim any authority in God’s name. Truly they did know, but they were unwilling to accept the truth. Do I ever lean on ignorance in plowing forward with some action that I’m not sure is quite right?

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, at times I know what your will for me is, but it costs me greatly to put it into practice. Sometimes I am too worried about what others think and say, or I am afraid of the consequences. Grant me a spirit of sincerity and strength always to accept and follow your will.

Resolution: I will arrive a little early to Mass tomorrow in order to spend a few quiet moments with Our Lord asking for the grace of always being sincere and upright in my actions.

epriest.com/reflections/view/404?utm_source=bulletin_737&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Bulletin

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One Bread, One Body – Reflection for May 30, 2015

SEEK THE FAITHFUL

“My feet kept to the level path because from earliest youth I was familiar with” Wisdom. –Sirach 51:15

Conversion stories are exciting. We weep for joy as the good thief on the cross finds salvation in his last desperate hour (Lk 23:42-43). We marvel at the power of God as He overpowers the worst sinner, the persecutor Saul (1 Tm 1:15), who then incredibly becomes the great apostle and preacher Paul (Acts 9:3ff). Today we are greatly encouraged by the wave of staunch Protestants who have incredibly converted to Catholicism and now powerfully defend the Faith.

A life of faithfulness is not as popular a story. People rarely fill an auditorium to hear about the priest or sister who accepted their vocation as a child and then never wavered from living out their call in holiness and fruitfulness. Not many flock to seek wisdom from the couple who never used artificial contraception, had a large family, and raised children who have all stayed joyfully faithful to the Church.

The popularity of conversions is a very good thing. We constantly need to keep in mind the power of God. Yet when we encounter people who have never wavered in faithfulness and who have faithfully borne fruit over the years, we should seek them out to the point of wearing away their doorstep! (Sir 6:36) We are to frequent their company and stay close to them (Sir 6:35). Faithfulness is caught more than taught. Seek faithfulness by seeking the faithful.

PRAYER: Father, bring people into my life who will lead me to greater faithfulness.

PROMISE: The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.” –Ps 19:8

PRAISE: Alice has built her life around Jesus and has received Him daily in the Eucharist for forty years.

mycatholic.com/reflections/2015-150.html

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May 30, 2015

Saturday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time

Sir 51:12CD-20,

Mk 11:27-33

Societies that silence their prophets are destined to disintegrate

In today’s first reading the author of the book of Sirach reveals how he managed to attain wisdom: “in cleanness I attained to her.” After the cleansing of the temple Jesus withdrew from the city and returned next day morning back to Jerusalem. The chief priests, the scribes, and the elders were waiting there to confront him. They asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” Specialization and division of labor are the result of communitarian life. It is seen not only among human being but also among every species of living organisms. They have their merits as well as demerits. The caste system in India was originally introduced for the smooth running of the society through specialization and division of labor. However, that very system got corrupted to such an extent that it became the source of corruption, cruelty and exploitation. However, to perpetuate and enforce that ‘Institutional Sin’ Hinduism asserted its divine origin and authentication. In every religion and every society we come across this sort of cancerous institutionalization and exploitation.

To counteract and neutralize this grave ‘Institutional Sin’ Judaism had a powerful counter balance in the persona of prophet. Whenever, the evils of Institutionalization corrupted and mislead the community; prophets stepped in to bring it to equilibrium. The question Jesus put to his challengers was a reminder as well as insubordination. He asked them a simple question, “Who authorized John?” They pretended ignorance because they knew that any answer they give will weaken and unarm them. Societies that silence their prophets are destined to disintegrate. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-05-30

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Saturday, May 28

 Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Jude 17, 20-25; Mk 11:27-33

Societies that silence their prophets are destined to disintegrate

In today’s first reading the author of the book of Sirach reveals how he managed to attain wisdom: “in cleanness I attained to her.” After the cleansing of the temple Jesus withdrew from the city and returned next day morning back to Jerusalem. The chief priests, the scribes, and the elders were waiting there to confront him. They asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” Specialization and division of labor are the result of communitarian life. It is seen not only among human being but also among every species of living organisms. They have their merits as well as demerits. The caste system in India was originally introduced for the smooth running of the society through specialization and division of labor. However, that very system got corrupted to such an extent that it became the source of corruption, cruelty and exploitation. However, to perpetuate and enforce that ‘Institutional Sin’ Hinduism asserted its divine origin and authentication. In every religion and every society we come across this sort of cancerous institutionalization and exploitation.

To counteract and neutralize this grave ‘Institutional Sin’ Judaism had a powerful counter balance in the persona of prophet. Whenever, the evils of Institutionalization corrupted and mislead the community; prophets stepped in to bring it to equilibrium. The question Jesus put to his challengers was a reminder as well as insubordination. He asked them a simple question, “Who authorized John?” They pretended ignorance because they knew that any answer they give will weaken and unarm them. Societies that silence their prophets are destined to disintegrate. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-05-28

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

SATURDAY OF THE 8TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MARCOS 11:27-33. GIILA BA NATO ANG GAHUM UG KATUNGOD NI HESUS SA ATONG KINABUHI? Human gibadlong ug giabog ni Hesus ang mga nagnegosyo sa templo, gipangutana siya sa mga kadagkoan sa mga Hudiyo kon kinsay naghatag kaniya og katungod sa pagbuhat niini. Wala sila makasabot nga si Hesus, ang bugtong Anak sa Dios, maoy naghupot sa katungod sa pagdumala sa moral nga kinabuhi sa mga tawo. Isip mga sumusunod ni Kristo, angay natong ilhon kining maong katungod sa Dios nga modumala sa atong moral nga pamuyo. Siya, dili kita, ang magbuot unsay maayo ug daotan. Ang Iyang mga sugo ug pagtulon-an maoy atong sundon tungod kay kini ang kahayag sa dalan nga atong gilaktan. Ang Libro sa Panultihon nag-ingon, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (16:9). Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/05/saturday-of-8th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Reflection for May 28, Saturday of the Eighth Week in OT; Mark 11:27-33

Reflection: Who are the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders?

They are persons of authority they are all highly valued and listened by their community. Jesus was actually no match to them in stature for He just an ordinary Jew and a carpenter. That’s why they’ve asked Him: “By what authority are you doing these things?

What was their motivation in asking Jesus about His authority? Of course their motivation was envy and greed for power because they were slowly being threatened by the growing popularity of Jesus.  Otherwise if they were not envious and greedy they would have not asked Jesus about His authority.

This same envy and greed for power drove them to plot the killing of Jesus.

We too are often times envious of those who succeed, those who are more popular than us. Why do we allow ourselves to be eaten-up by this negative emotion called envy?

Instead of feeling envious why not just be happy for those people who succeed? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/05/reflection-for-may-28-saturday-of.html

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THE HEART OF THE MATTER – In today’s Gospel, we read an encounter between Jesus and the religious leaders of His time: the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders (v.27). They posed to Jesus a question not because they wanted to understand but because they wanted a confrontation. Look at the irony. These are people who were well-versed with the objective elements of religion. They knew by heart the prescriptions of the Law and the Prophets. Yet, they wouldn’t recognize Jesus who is the fulfillment of everything that was written in the Law and the Prophets.

As a young student priest doing postgraduate studies at the Gregorian University in Rome, I had classmates who were not from the clergy. A great number of them were lay people. Not all of them were Catholics. Some were even non-Christians. In some classes, there were students from religions that were not so friendly with the Catholic faith. This gave rise to some “rumors” that some really do study the faith not because they love it but so they can fight it better.

Being catechized is not the same as being evangelized. While catechism is indispensably a part of evangelization, it is possible for the former to exist without the latter. Not every one who is catechized is evangelized. Catechism is knowledge of the doctrines of the faith. It is being educated in the objective elements of a religious belief system. We can say that, at the very least, catechism is an experience of the head.

Evangelization is a far deeper experience. Evangelization comes from a Greek word that means “good news.” It is an encounter with a person — the Good News of Jesus Christ. While catechism can exist apart from evangelization, evangelization necessarily leads to catechism. The more one encounters the person of Jesus Christ, the more one wants to know about Him. As a lover naturally endeavors to know more about the object of his love, the more one is evangelized, the more one wants to be catechized. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: More than head knowledge, pray and work for a heart knowledge of Christ.

Lord, I open to You my mind, my heart and will. Amen.

http://erygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-05-28 92016.05.30)

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May 28, 2016

REFLECTION: In French the expression “mauvaise foi” refers to dishonesty, insincerity. Literally it means “bad faith.”

In today’s gospel reading we witness how Jesus masterly unmasks his opponents’ “mauvaise foi” or “bad faith.” They challenge his authority to cleanse the temple (this latest action of his had hit them in their most sensitive spot—their wallet—for the temple business was a major source of income for them). Jesus counters their challenge by questioning them about the validity of John the Baptist’s ministry. Now, since they refused to believe in John, they should have answered that his ministry was purely of human origin—if they had been honest. But in the parallel version of this incident as given in Matthew’s gospel, they admit among themselves, “we fear the crowd” (Mt 23:26). And in Luke’s account they add “then all people will stone us” (Lk 20:6). In other words, these religious opponents of Jesus are more concerned about their personal safety than about the truth. Which shows their bad faith. They want to save their skin rather than live up to their true convictions.

What should we answer to Jesus if we were in their shoes? How far do we carry honesty?

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

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schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3547-may-28-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Saturday of the 8th Week of the Year

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