GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY -12TH DECEMBER 2016
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 12TH DECEMBER 2016
MONDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT
1ST READING: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17a
PSALM: Psalm 25:4-9
GOSPEL: Matthew 21:23-27
THEME: DEPENDABLE JESUS
The evidence of an eye-witness is vital in a court room. It contributes immensely in arriving at a fair judgement. A genuine prophet is a spiritual eye-witness. He “sees” what pertains in the realm of the spirit and by his proclamation gives evidence to that effect.
Like Balaam who saw a vision and declared, “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near– a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel” (Num 24:17), John the Baptist also foresaw the mission and ministry of Jesus long before he appeared in the public domain and declared, “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Mat 3:11).
The Gospel text for today is the first of five controversies between Jesus and the religious authorities of Judaism as recorded in Mat. 21:23 – 22:46. When he was confronted by the chief priests and the elders of the people who questioned him about the authority with which he was carrying out his ministry, he 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?” (Mat 21:24-25). With this line of argument he indirectly made reference to the evidence of John the Baptist about him and thereby confounded his critics and at the same time affirmed the divine authority backing his ministry.
The evidence of John the Baptist, coupled with that of all those who have put their faith in Jesus over the years point to the fact that the divine authority of Jesus is real. His authority is not meant to destroy but to save (cf. Jn. 3:17). He has absolute authority to set free anyone who comes to him.
In this season of Advent, we are called upon to come under the authority of Jesus and be transformed by him. No need to doubt; no need to fear. He is dependable.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Chosen One of God. I yield to your authority and grace. Have your way in my life. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).