Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
December 13, A.D. 2004
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
Once when Jesus was in the Temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to Him as He was teaching, and demanded of Him, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?"
The question posed to Jesus by the chief priests and the elders about the source of His authority was a legitimate one. Jesus was a very controversial figure. He challenged much of the conventional teaching and practice of His day. He also made some very bold claims about Himself. He said that He and the Father were one. He claimed that He could forgive sins. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." He predicted that those very chief priests and elders would have Him killed, and that He would be raised from the dead in three days. It is understandable that they would question His authority.
The question of Jesus' authority was important not only to His adversaries but also to those who wished to believe in Him. No one understood this better than the Apostle Paul when he wrote, "If Christ has not been raised from the dead, our faith is futile, we are still in our sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished."
For all believers - including us - the authority of Jesus is a matter of ultimate concern. If His authority is not from God, if His word is not God's word, if He is not God made man, who took on our human condition and laid down His life to reconcile us with God, our faith is in vain.
We cannot set out on the journey of faith until we profess wholeheartedly that Jesus Christ is Lord. Faith in Jesus is an all or nothing proposition.
To believe in Him dispassionately is not an option. He requires that we give Him our all. He invites us to take up our personal cross and follow Him. He asks us to die to ourselves and live for Him. To make such a commitment, we must be absolutely sure - with the certitude of faith - that His authority is from God.
Lord Jesus Christ,
I profess that You are my Lord and my God.
Increase my faith by the power of Your Spirit,
that my every thought, word, and deed
may give You glory and draw me ever closer to You.
- John Gedbaw
Lives of the saints:
Monday of Third Week of Advent
St. Lucy, virgin, martyr
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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