Friday, September 21, 2018

Jesus and the Temple AUthorities

When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus 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?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’  But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. – Matthew 21, 2018

“By what authority are you doing these things?!” I have heard that question asked of me so many times.  “By what authority do you say such things?”  The first time was asked by a farmer as we both leaned against a fence.  The old man asked of the young preacher …”Why should I listen to you?”  A powerful and much needed question to be asked of a preacher who dares to herald the thoughts of God.  “By what authority?”

As the years passed, people have challenged my “opinion” on things.  Oh, I do have my opinions and I pray they are well-formed opinions which are of the same worth as everyone’s opinions, but I, at times, do not share opinion but rather a prophetic voice.  This prophetic voice communicated in either voice or action is an act of placing my own soul in jeopardy by daring to echo the thoughts and feelings of God.  And I know by so doing I will be held accountable by the Lord.

This prophetic voice comes out of a life of prayer, a life of servanthood, a life of seeking to behold life from a Higher Perspective, a life of wrestling with God and yielding to God, a life of total devotion to the Lord.  This prophetic voice is not mere opinion … it is the calling that the Lord has demanded of my soul.

I have opinions about this preference over that preference, but when it comes to matters of good and evil, I no longer have my personal opinions but rather the opinions of the Lord.  Time will prove if I were a false prophet or a true prophet … and I will be held accountable for that … but it IS my holy vocation to discern with Divine Wisdom what is of God and what is not.

“By what authority do I dare speak out?”  By the authority of Christ and the Christ who guides me.

Always in Christ’s Service,

Fr. Charitas de la Cruz

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