This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Monday of the Third Week of Advent
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The chief priests and the elders of the people approached [Jesus] as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?”
Every time I reflect upon this Gospel passage my mind goes back to 2012 and the “controversial” remarks made by Chic-Fil-A’s President, Dan Cathy, regarding gay-marriage and family. You may not remember how the whole thing started, but I do: with a simple question.
By what authority are you doing these things? Why are the chief priests and elders asking Jesus this question? Why isn’t He giving them a straight answer? Did the Lord lose a great opportunity to set the record straight? Of course not! We all know there was no real interest on the part of the elders and priests to hear the honest-to-God truth about Him. Simply put, this was all a setup; an attempt to have the Lord mocked, arrested and put to death.
Don’t fall for it. When is it the right moment to share the Good News with others? Always! Where is the best place to do it? Everywhere.
Don’t be so naïve. People will not just come up to you and say, “Baptize me!” If they do, it means someone else got to them first, right?
Every day is the right time and everywhere is the best place to share the Good News with others. Don’t fall for the trap of waiting for someone to “fall into the trap.” It won’t happen. It shouldn’t happen. Traps are for hunters, and Christians do not set traps. If anything, they are often blind lovers who get hunted down by mean-spirited individuals. Don’t fall into other people’s traps. The Lord didn’t. He knew how to navigate through all sorts of people: rough people, calm people, deceptively nice people, shallow people, deep people, transparent people, and murky people.
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.
Get smarter. What’s the best way to share your faith with others? By getting to know others. Know what others think, honestly think. That’s what the Lord did. When asked, he asked. And for good reason. He thought to himself: “Are you really ready to hear what I have to say?” The answer was clear.
Over the years, I have learned to ask rather than to answer. By doing so, I have learned more about others, and earned their respect. And I can honestly say it has made me a better man, better priest and better Christian. We men have a tendency to never ask questions. We tend to pull out the tool box immediately. The result can be awful if your a car owner and devastating if your a patient.
By reading through the Gospels, it becomes apparent the Lord asked more questions than He ever answered. Good for Him. He knew full well that by asking you not only reveal what others think, you also reveal what you think of them and of yourself.
And now your ready to give an answer for your faith. (61)
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