Repent from hypocrisy; learn to look inwards

“The scribes, and the elders came to him and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” (Mark 11:27-28)

Our Gospel passage today continues from that of yesterday. Jesus had gone into the temple to cleanse it by driving out those who had practically turned the temple into a market place. In the words of Jesus, they had the Temple into a den of robbers – they were tactically taking advantage of (stealing from) those who were coming to the Temple to pray.

While Jesus was cleansing the Temple, the only thing on the mind of the chief priests and religious leaders was how they could destroy Jesus. For them, Jesus was nothing more than a trouble maker who had come to deprive them of their daily bread. Their eyes had become so blinded by money that they failed to see anything wrong with buying and selling in the Temple.

In today’s Gospel passage, the chief priests, while searching for a way to bring Jesus down decided to begin by asking who gave him the authority to do what He had just done. Where did He get such audacity? In other words, they wanted to know who ordained Jesus. Jesus, in response, asked them the source of John the Baptist’s authority; a question they couldn’t answer.

As we noted yesterday, the hypocrite sees that his house is dirty but instead of cleaning it, he rushes quickly to paint the outside. Another characteristic of the hypocrite is to attack and condemn anyone who tells him that his house is dirty. We gain nothing by fighting those who tell us the truth.

Since truth is bitter, whenever we are told the truth, it tends to sound like an insult to us. This is especially when it is coming from someone younger than us or someone we look down on. It is not every “insult” that is actually an insult; some “insults” are blessings in disguise.

No one is perfect. You are not always as good as you like to assume. Be humble, be willing to learn. As the book of Sirach today tells us: “I resolved to live according to wisdom, and I was zealous for the good, and I shall never be disappointed. My soul grappled with wisdom, and in my conduct I was strict; I spread out my hands to the heavens, and lamented my ignorance of her.” (Sirach 51:18-19).

The day you come to the conclusion that you have known all that there is ever to be known or that no one can ever correct you is the day you begin to die.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, save me from the foolishness of pride. Amen.

Bible Study: Sirach 51:12-20, Psalm 19 and Mark 11:27-33).

Fr. Abu

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