Daily Gospel Reflection – Memorial of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
December 13, 2021
Memorial of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr
Gospel: Mt 21:23-27
When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them in reply, “I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.” So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” He himself said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, the chief priests and elders question Jesus: "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?"
The Greek word used for "authority" is most enlightening: exousia. It means, literally, "from the being of." Jesus speaks with the very exousia of God, and therefore, his words effect what they say. He says, "Lazarus, come out!" (John 11:43), and the dead man comes out of the tomb. He rebukes the wind and says to the sea, "Be still!" (Mark 4:39), and there is calm. And the night before he dies, he takes bread and says, "This is my body" (Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19). And what he says is.
Friends, this is the authority of the Church. If we are simply the guardians of one interesting philosophical perspective among many, then we are powerless. If we rely on our own cleverness in argumentation, then we will fail. Our power comes—and this remains a great mystery—only when we speak with the authority of Jesus Christ.
Reflect: How can we, mere humans, "speak with the authority of Jesus Christ"?