02 June 2007


Saturday in the 8th Week of the Ordinary Time
Mk 11:27-33

Jesus is courageous. He does not cow in fear even when threatened by death because of His relationship with God. He stands firm and does not shudder, much less, run away when questioned by those who attack Him for His radical teachings about God. He perseveres in doing what is good even when the very good He does is used against Him. Jesus is courageous.

Jesus is wise. He knows what His mission is all about. He understands the consequences of His radical teachings that clash with the lifestyle and paradigm of the chief priests, the scribes, the Pharisees, and the elders of the people. He is sure with the origin of His message and the authority with which He proclaims it. He teaches what He believes and lives by what He teaches. Jesus is wise.

The courage and wisdom of Jesus are clearly shining through the Gospel today. Courage and wisdom – we need both as we strive to follow Jesus.

Courage without wisdom is dangerous. It may lead us to an untimely death, to a useless death, to a senseless death. Jesus needs not dead people for the work of the Kingdom. Jesus needs people who are alive and kicking. Wisdom is required to tame us in our courage lest we unnecessarily expose our selves to danger and die just when we are needed alive.

Wisdom without courage is useless. It may save us from senseless death, but may condemn us to a senseless life. People whose lives are without meaning are detrimental to the meaning of the Gospel of Christ. Jesus needs people who can give meaning to the lives of others. Formal education may give knowledge, but it does not always guarantee wisdom. Using common sense is the manifestation of wisdom. While courage sets us on fire lest we are cold just when we are needed hot, wisdom tells us just when that need presents itself.

“John’s baptism: did it come from heaven, or from man?” Jesus asks the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders who tried to trap Him by His own words. “We do not know,” they reply. The chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people answer this way because they have neither courage nor wisdom, or both. “Then neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things,” with courage and wisdom, Jesus ends their discussion, exposing the trap they laid for Him. The predator became the prey.


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