December 14, 2015 MONDAY, 3RD Week of Advent
St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Nm 24:2 -7, 15 - 17a / Mt 21:23 – 27
[Born in Fontiveros, Spain, St. John ot the Cross (1542 – 1591), a mystic and a major figure in the Counter-Reformation, joined St. Terea of Avila (1515 – 1582) in reforming the Carmelites.]
Reading: Nm 24: 2-7, 15 – 17a
Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping, tribe by tribe; and the spirit of God came upon him and he uttered his song:
"Word of Balaam, son of Beor, the seer, the one who hears the words of God, and beholds the vision of the Almighty, in ecstasy, with eyes unveiled. How goodly are your tents, Jacob, your encampments, Israel! Like valleys stretching far, like gardens beside a stream, like aloes planted by Yahweh, like cedars beside the waters. His buckets are overflowing and his seeds are always watered. His king becomes stronger than Agag, and his kingdom grows."
Then Balaam pronounced his oracle: "Word of Balaam, son of Beor, the seer, the one who hears the word of God, who has knowledge froam the Most High, and sees the vision of the Almighty, in ecstasy, with eyes unveiled. I see a figure, but not really, I behold him but not near. A star shall come forth from Jacob, he rises with a staff in his hand: he shatters the forehead of Moab and tears down all the sons of Sheth."
Gospel: Mt 21:23 – 27
Jesus had entered the Temple and was teaching when the chief priests, the teachers of the Law and the Jewish authorities came to him and asked, "What authority have you to act like this? Who gave you authority to do all this?"
Jesus answered them, "I will also ask you a question, only one. And if you give me an answer, then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. When John began to baptize, was it a work of God, or was it merely something human?"
They reasoned out among themselves, "If we reply that it was a work of God, he will say: Why, then, did you not believe him? And if we say: The baptism of John was merely something human, beware of the people: since all hold John as a prophet." So they answered Jesus, "We do not know."
And Jesus said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what right I do these things."
In the first reading the prophet Balaam prophesies the coming of the star of Jacob: at the Annunciation the angel tells Mary that the Son she is to bear "will rule over the people of Jacob forever and his reign will have no end." (Lk 1: 32b – 33)
In the Gospel reading today, the chief priests and the elders of the people questioned Jesus, "What authority have you for acting like this?" Jesus replied with another question: "When John began to baptize, was it a work of God, or was it merely something human?" The chief priests and elders decided to play it safe and answer Jesus' question by saying they did not know: they refused to commit themselves for fear of the people who loved John and for fear of being exposed for not believing in Jesus.
How much of the hypocritical chief priests and the leaders of the Jews do we find in ourselves and in our decisions? How afraid are we of the censure and opinion of others? How afraid are we to declare unequivocally for the Lord?
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
HUBERT SEE CO
CARLOS & LYNDA LAO
IN MEMORIAM (+)
CELESTINO E. RIVERA
JOHN K.C. NG (MAY 25, 1939 – DEC 14, 2013)
MARTIN DE JESUS
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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