Advent Day 16 – Good News for December 13

13 12 2010

Matthew 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.”

Room to Chat: Father, thank you for this blessing.





By What Authority? – Good News for May 29

29 05 2010

Mark 11:27-33

Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him and said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?”

Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”

They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”– they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet. So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”

Then Jesus said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

The Daily Path: To whom do you give authority in your life?





Convulsions – Good News for January 12

12 01 2010

Mark 1:21-28

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.

In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”

Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet!  Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

The Daily Path: In today’s Gospel, Mark describes the violent convulsion of an unclean spirit as Jesus commands its departure from a man present during His teaching. It reminds me how I often struggle to retain something that is not good for me before finally casting it aside with some sort of little explosion.

For example, think of the times we feel the need to be right about something. We’ll go out of our way to prove ourselves correct. Sometimes this causes damage to a relationship. On those occasions when I can accept being wrong, it often requires a little convulsion on my part before I can let go. I don’t go screaming out of the room, but there is some upheaval that occurs within before “the demon” is expelled.

Another example of these convulsions (conversions) often comes in asking forgiveness. Think of the times you’ve done something to cause hurt. How long before you ask forgiveness… assuming you d0? I know that all too often I’ll chose to dwell for an extended period in the House of Ego, blind to the truth, all the while allowing a false sense of self-righteousness to fester away at the wounds inflicted. Then, after an epic struggle within, the light of truth suddenly breaks through and I accept what must be done. In that moment of final convulsion comes great relief, and best of all… inner peace.





Authority – Good News for December 14

14 12 2009

Matthew 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.”

The Daily Path: “By what authority are you doing these things?”

Have you ever assumed the authority to judge the actions of someone else? The key word being assumed.

In the business world I have used the authority granted me by the company to assess performance. I’d like to think that in most cases I did not exceed or falsely assume authority in performing my role. However, there have been times in my life when I have falsely assumed authority and judged another when I had no authority to do so.

At some point each of us fall into the trap of false authority. We assume the position of “elder” just as we read about in today’s Gospel. With this false sense of entitlement we go about criticizing our neighbor or casting a shadow on something they have done. At times we plot the course of our false authority in order to get our way… with no regard for the impact of our actions.

But in the aftermath of our plotting, do we look back at the destruction that lays in our wake?

Room to Chat: Lord, clear my vision so that I may see only You as the source of true authority. During this season of Advent, lead me away from the elders who would destroy the truth within me. Fill my heart with your warmth so that I may act with the true authority of your love.