Daily Devotional for June 17

June 17                                                               Luke 20:1-8


In the passage that precedes today's reading, Jesus boldly enters
the Temple and drives out those who are using religion as a
means to enrich themselves. (Luke 19:45-46) In so doing, Jesus
demonstrates a personal authority that is a threat to the status
quo, a status quo in which the authority of the chief priests,
scribes, and elders has been accepted as supreme.


In today's Gospel, the chief priests, scribes, and elders challenge
Jesus to explain the source of his authority. They are, in effect,
challenging Jesus to justify his right to cleanse the Temple as
he has done. Moreover, they issue their challenge in such a way
as to create a no-win situation for Jesus. If he maintains that
his authority has come from God, they will charge him with
blasphemy for claiming an authority that he cannot prove. If
he states that his authority is from himself, they will charge
him with over-stepping his bounds in cleansing the Temple.


Jesus therefore does not answer their question. Instead, he asks
another question that places them in the same situation into
which they had attempted to force him. When they answer
that they do not know the correct response, he simply replies,
"Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things."


The example of Jesus in this situation teaches an important
lesson: it is not always wise or necessary to disclose informa-
tion about ourselves to people who are likely to use it against
us. This does not imply that we should adopt a defensive
posture toward others, but it rather encourages us to develop
an attentiveness to the voice of the Holy Spirit which reveals
to us when "the hour has come" (John 12:23) and when "the
hour has not yet come." (John 2:4)


As with God's self-revelation, our own self-disclosure is a
gradual process that requires a preparation and readiness that
come about through the movement of the Holy Spirit. In being
attentive to this movement within our lives and responding
to it faithfully, we find an increasing authority emerging in
all we say and do. Further, we learn when to speak and when
to keep silent in response to the challenges of our world, our
neighbors, and our lives.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C

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