Jun 2 (Mk 11:27-33)

Once, a preacher was speaking the Word of God to a great crowd.

As was his practice, he was concentrating more on the content of his message and of its effect upon the hearts of people, for transformation, rather than the precise literary form of it.

Among his audience, was seated a certain fussy gentleman.

He had been known for making extremely critical remarks and comments.

At the end of the prayer service, this person went up to the preacher and said, “By the way, I noticed that you made eleven mistakes of grammar in your sermon.”

“Very likely,” replied the preacher, very coolly, “I don’t doubt it for a minute.

My early education was faulty. I often wished that I had received more schooling.

But I am using all the grammar I know in the service of Christ.

>> How is it with you?”

Well, we don’t know how did the fussy gentleman react to this bold and true reply of the preacher.

(Hopefully, he went home and read a chapter of the Bible and prayed for a humbler heart rather than just revising his skills of grammar!)

When the heart is closed to God’s spirit, the focus dwells only external and peripheral factors…

>> The heart gets closed to spiritual appreciation…

>> The mind remains curious only for rhetorical arguments!

The Gospel of the Day presents such a critically harsh and uncharitably closed attitude of the chief priests and scribes and elders towards the person and ministry of Jesus.

This is expressed in their volatile question to Jesus, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” (Mk 11: 28)

The context of today’s Gospel is the presence of Jesus in the city of Jerusalem.

Chapter 11 of St Mark’s Gospel has a progressive sequence…

1. The entry into Jerusalem (Mk 11: 1-10)

2. The entry to Bethany and cursing of the fig tree (Mk 11: 11-14)

3. The re-entry to Jerusalem and cleansing of the Temple (Mk 11: 15-18)

4. The re-entry to Bethany, observation of withered tree and teaching on faith (Mk 11: 19-26)

5. The third entry into Jerusalem and questioning of Jesus’ authority (Mk 11: 27-33)

>> The popularity of Jesus was on the rise…

… He had a rousing welcome to the city of Jerusalem

>> The impact of Jesus was also on the rise…

… He had performed a daring cleansing of the Jerusalem Temple

These factors had greatly disturbed the religious leaders.

>> In Jesus, they perceived a threat.

… a threat to their attitude of subjugating people to their yoke, than to service of God

>> In Jesus, they sensed a danger.

… a danger to their personal wishes and agenda of having a monopoly over religion

>> In Jesus, they identified a menace.

… a menace to their comfort-rendering style of spirituality and way of life.

And so, they – the chief priests and scribes and the elders – sought to put Jesus to the task and questioned His authority on doing such deeds and performing such actions.

Their eyes were closed to see the goodness of the Lord

> Their hearts become clogged to examine their own maligned conscience

>> Their lives were rendered blocked to be willing to make necessary changes for the good.

Instead…

… they only found fault with the Lord

… they only become critical of the ways of the Lord

When the heart is closed to God’s spirit, the focus dwells only external and peripheral factors…

>> The heart gets closed to spiritual appreciation…

>> The mind remains curious only for rhetorical arguments!

Is such an attitude prevalent among us also…

> A mentality of harshly criticising…?

>> A tendency to inhumanly condemn…?

… without any consideration to humanness or acceptance or self-examination etc.

May we be able to root out all such pessimistic mind-sets and focus instead of self-growth in holiness and humility.

God Bless! Live Jesus

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