Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel, the chief priests, the scribes and the elders question Jesus’ authority. (Mark 11:27) Jesus in turn asks them to state what they believe about John’s authority: was John’s baptism of human or divine origin? The agnostic response on the part of the elders (“We do not know”) shows a lack of openness and sincerity in really asking questions about authority. So, Jesus cannot reveal to them that it is the Father who is Jesus’ authority. The elders do not have their minds open to this reality. The fact that Jesus is performing miracles of healing and feeding and exercising the possessed should be evidence enough of the one from whom his authority comes. Sadly, though, the elders do not have eyes to see.
In the first reading, Jude commands the early Christians, writing “on those who waver, have mercy.” (Jude 22) At times we will deal with those who are closed to faith, as the elders in the Gospel were. At other times, however, we deal with those who are open to God’s revelation, but are also attracted by temptations which are contrary to God’s love. Our response should always be mercy. Why? because we hope to imitate Jesus, who is merciful to us, and who we believe is able “to keep us from stumbling and to present us unblemished and exultant, in the presence of his glory.” (Jude 24) Let us ask the Lord for a deep knowledge of His Mercy towards us and towards all, a mercy which we hope will bring us all together, and will allow us to know and love God fully at the end of time. Amen.