The Gospel reading from the Mass for Saturday for the 8th Week of Ordinary Time is Mark 11:27-33. 

Christ’s authority has been publicly proclaimed (Mark 1:22), He has claimed the divine authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:10) and asserted His authority by entering Jerusalem like a king (Mark 11:7-10) and by clearing of the Temple (Mark 11:15-17).  As Christ specifically predicted (Mark 8:31), the Jewish priests, scribes and elders have decided to kill Him (Mark 11:18). 

Prompted by His forceful clearing of the Temple (Mark 11:15-19), the Jewish priests, scribes and elders confront Jesus in the Temple about the source of His words and acts of authority. Ironically, Christ is the Temple (John 2:19) and, as the Son sent by the Father (Mark 1:11), has divine authority while the Jewish leaders have been only delegated authority from Christ, a Person of the Trinity. 

Rather than answer questions of the Jewish leaders, Christ re-asserts His authority by demanding that they answer His question first.  Christ’s question about the source of John the Baptist’s authority is a lose-lose for the Jewish leaders; they either expose their rebellion against God or incite rebellion against their leadership by the people who revere John the Baptist. Asserting His authority, Christ uses a masterful debate tactic to expose the evil hearts of the Jewish leaders, while mercifully offering them chance to come clean.  Full of fear, the priests, scribes and elders cowardly back down, refusing to answer.  In another assertion of His authority, Christ refuses to answer their question. 

Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ has been given authority from the Father. Divine Prophet, Christ prophesied the Jewish leaders would conspire to and eventually kill Him. Divine King, Christ asserts His authority in discussion. Omniscient, Jesus demonstrates His Divine Wisdom by humiliating Israel’s most learned leaders. 

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ’s Divine Wisdom is superior to any knowledge of any man. Consider how even the most brilliant man alive today is infinitely less intelligent than Christ. Be awed. 

2) In today’s cult of selfish individualism, many men reject any and all forms of authority, insisting on the “right” do what they please. Reflect upon Christ’s Authority (CCC 581, 651, 668-669, 1063-1064) and pray for Christ your King to help you to absolutely submit to His will.

3) Like the hapless Jewish leaders, many ignorant Catholic men today rebel against God by rejecting portions (necessity of Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession, contraception, marriage, chastity, homosexuality, etc. ) of the Magisterium the Church. Reflect upon the errors of Israel’s Confusion about Christ (CCC 574-594) and pray for Christ to bring you to fuller understanding and adherence to the Church’s teaching.