Posted by: RAM | May 29, 2015

Saturday (May 30): “Who gave you this authority?”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of Our Lady

St. Joan of Arc, Virgin, Martyr 
Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 352

First Reading: Sirach 51:12-20
Psalms 19:8-11:  The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
Gospel: 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.”   http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/053015.cfm

Reflection:   Do you accept the authority of God’s word and submit to it with trust and obedience? Many religious leaders took offense at Jesus because they could not accept his authority. After Jesus had dramatically cleansed the temple of the traders and money-changers the Jewish leaders question Jesus to trap him. If he says his authority is divine they will charge him with blasphemy. If he has done this on his own authority they might well arrest him as a mad zealot before he could do more damage.

Jesus, seeing through their trap, poses a question to them and makes their answer a condition for his answer. Did they accept the work of John the Baptist as divine or human? If they accepted John’s work as divine, they would be compelled to accept Jesus as the Messiah. They dodged the question because they were unwilling to face the truth. They did not accept the Baptist and they would not accept Jesus as their Messiah. Jesus told his disciples that “the truth will make you free” (John 8:31). Do you know the joy and freedom of living according to God’s word of truth?

“Lord Jesus, your word is life and truth. Instruct my heart that I may grow in the knowledge of your truth and live according to your word.” http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/may30.htm http://www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2015 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Joan of Arc, Patron of soldiers and France (1412-1431)

Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.

Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux (southeast of Paris), Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Sts. Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.

During the Hundred Years War, she led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of Orléans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, she was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men’s clothes. The English resented France’s military success–to which Joan contributed.

On this day in 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.

Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life “offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action” because her spiritual insight is that there should be a “unity of heaven and earth.”

Joan of Arc has been the subject of many books, plays, operas, and movies. http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1741&calendar=1

More Saints of the Day

 Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  RAM //

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