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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Saturday of the 8 th Week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

Sir 51:12-20,

Gospel MK 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."


Societies that silence their prophets are destined to disintegrate


In today’s first reading the author of the book of Sirach reveals how he managed to attain wisdom: “in cleanness I attained to her.” After the cleansing of the temple Jesus withdrew from the city and returned next day morning back to Jerusalem. The chief priests, the scribes, and the elders were waiting there to confront him. They asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” Specialization and division of labor are the result of communitarian life. It is seen not only among human being but also among every species of living organisms. They have their merits as well as demerits. The caste system in India was originally introduced for the smooth running of the society through specialization and division of labor. However, that very system got corrupted to such an extent that it became the source of corruption, cruelty and exploitation. However, to perpetuate and enforce that ‘Institutional Sin’ Hinduism asserted its divine origin and authentication. In every religion and every society we come across this sort of cancerous institutionalization and exploitation.


To counteract and neutralize this grave ‘Institutional Sin’ Judaism had a powerful counter balance in the persona of prophet. Whenever, the evils of Institutionalization corrupted and mislead the community; prophets stepped in to bring it to equilibrium. The question Jesus put to his challengers was a reminder as well as insubordination. He asked them a simple question, “Who authorized John?” They pretended ignorance because they knew that any answer they give will weaken and unarm them. Societies that silence their prophets are destined to disintegrate.


Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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