STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
Gospel: Mark 11: 27-31
Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem.
As he was walking in the temple area,
the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders
approached him and said to him,
“By what authority are you doing these things?
Or who gave you this authority to do them?”
Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question.
Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”
They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”–
they feared the crowd,
for they all thought John really was a prophet.
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”
Then Jesus said to them,
“Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
Have you ever wanted to win an argument so badly you start speaking nonsense? I have. I have a huge need to always be right. Even to the point of making up some weirds things just so I don’t have to admit I was wrong. One time, my mom scolded me for not closing the front door, so I told her I purposely left it open so I could hear the rain. Yeah....not my brightest moment. But I was put on the spot and needed to be right.
That is exactly what happened to the chief priests in today’s Gospel. They have a need to be right and to prove Jesus wrong. They wanted to trap Him. They wanted to make Jesus say something that they could use against Him. If Jesus said He was acting under His own power, they could arrest Him for saying He is God. If He said God gave Him authority they could arrest Him for blasphemy or basically saying God did something that God did not.
But Jesus of course was too smart for them. He knew what they were trying to do. He knew they had given Him a no win scenario. They were trying to arrest Him, or prove Him wrong. He knew they would be looking for Him to make a misstep.
Jesus then found a third option to the no win scenario. He gave them a dilemma right back. They knew they could not answer without admitting Jesus was God or without angering the crowd around them. Stuck, they decided not to answer. They become silent. They are unable to handle the truth of the matter.
This Gospel works to help us understand not only the importance of telling the truth but also about facing it. When we are unwilling to admit to the truth we have to twist and wiggle (or say you purposely let the wain come in the house) just so that you still appear to be right. When you continue to deny the truth before you you dig yourself a deeper and deeper hole. The chief priests were eventually left with no other option but to wrongly kill Jesus. Admitting the truth may be hard, but often it is a freeing feeling. It might be humbling, but it opens you up to a brighter, freer, fuller future.
“Faith and Reason are like two wings of the human spirit by which it soars to the truth.” ― St. Pope John Paul II
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
“Faith and Reason are like two wings of the human spirit by which it soars to the truth.”
How do I respond when confronted with the truth?
Do I believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life?
How can I share the truth of the Gospel?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
"Jesus, share the truth with me."
"I want to soar to the truth."
"Guide me to share your truth."
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Today, pray about how you can share the truth about Jesus with others. How can you share that He is Lord and that He is important to you?
SMARTPHONE LOCK SCREEN
Today's prayer was prepared by Lisa Kendzior.