Monday of the Third Week of Advent
Memorial Feast: Saint Lucy (c.283-+304)—Virgin and Martyr, Patron Saint of the blind
Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17a, Psalm 25:4-5ab, 6, 7bc, 8-9, & Matthew 21:23-27
In today's Gospel narratives, the enemies of Jesus, especially the elders and chief priests, question the authority of Jesus. They ask, By what authority are you doing these things?" Essentially, they are requesting Jesus' credentials. All of us know that He is a moral teacher, and He is more than just a prophet. He is the Son of God.
They question His authority because they want to embarrass Him and jeopardize His public ministry. However, our Lord turns the tables on them. He counters with courage and wit with a question: "Where was John's baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?" Since they did not want to trap themselves, they simply answered, "We do not know." Jesus replied to them, "Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things."
Jesus' authority comes from above, for He came to fulfill the Father's will (Phil 2:6). The authority of Jesus emanates from His authenticity and inner riches, for He is the perfect embodiment of the Father's love to save all (John 3:16), which is what we call moral authority. Our Lord was not a demagogue or a politician trying to win votes. He led by His example. The greatest must be the servant of all, so He went on washing His disciples' feet.
Prayer: "Show us, Lord, your love, and grant us your salvation." Alleluia, alleluia.