When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to 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, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?”
And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Often I find myself asking if what I think God is saying is in fact God or merely my own thoughts. How do I know what God’s will is for me? When I do believe it is God’s invitation, I am quick to challenge my belief with the question… By what authority am I led to this belief? In today’s liturgy, our Church remembers St. John of the Cross. He lived in Spain in the late 1500’s and struggled with sharing God’s message with others. As a man who came from poverty and whose message was not believed by many, St. John was left with a similar question. He was confident and sustained by his faith in God. The chief priests and elders of the people in today’s Gospel are asking the question because they are finding what they see and hear hard to take in. Does your belief in God give you the confidence to answer that question? What moments of faith have led you to be sustained and confident in God’s presence in your life?
—Fr. Kevin Schneider, S.J. is Director of Adult Spiritual Enrichment Programs at Creighton Prep, Omaha, NE.
Saint John of the Cross, in the darkness of your worst moments, when you were alone and persecuted, you found God. Help me to have faith that God is there especially in the times when God seems absent and far away. Amen