First Reading: Num 24:2-7. 15-17a; Psalm: 25. R. v. 4b; Gospel: Mt 21:23-27
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGNUONU, MSP
One remarkable thing about the ministration of Jesus was the extraordinary way it makes deep and lasting impression on the minds of his listeners. This explains the vast increase in the number of Jesus’ disciples within a short while of beginning his ministry. Obviously, the chief priests and the elders of the people were uncomfortable and awed at the manner in which the followers of Jesus were growing exponentially. And so they asked Jesus, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”
It is strange how we sometimes feel so unsafe due to the successes of other people. Jesus did not answer their question but decided to expose who they really are. And so he asked them if John’s baptism was from God or from men. If they say that John’s baptism was from God, then they would have to believe in Jesus as the Messiah for John clearly bore testimony to Jesus. And if they say it was not from God, they will have the wrath of the people to contend with because the people believed that John was God’s messenger. Seeing themselves in this dilemma, they answered, “We do not know.”
We can sometimes be so hardened to acknowledge the truth even when it is so obvious. See how these men struggled to identify with the truth and finally chose not to. They deliberately assumed ignorance of what was so obvious and shamed themselves. It takes a lot of energy and mental stress to hide the truth but none to speak it. Some of us just like these uncouth men feel so unsafe to acknowledge obvious truths about people for reasons best known to us. It only takes an uncivilised and jealous mind to feel and act this way. Why should we keep mute or assume ignorance of what we know if saying it will edify people? When we try to suppress the truth; the truth will haunt us.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, grant us a sincere love and openness of heart towards one another. Amen.