Monday of the Third Week of Advent - 16th December
He had gone into the Temple and was teaching, when the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him and said, 'What authority have you for acting like this? And who gave you this authority?'
In reply Jesus said to them, 'And I will ask you a question, just one; if you tell me the answer to it, then I will tell you my authority for acting like this.
John's baptism: what was its origin, heavenly or human?' And they argued this way among themselves, 'If we say heavenly, he will retort to us, "Then why did you refuse to believe him?";
but if we say human, we have the people to fear, for they all hold that John was a prophet.'
So their reply to Jesus was, 'We do not know.' And he retorted to them, 'Nor will I tell you my authority for acting like this.'
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said “Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine", seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires. We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth.”
Faith is not about picking and choosing aspects that seem nice or appealing or comfortable and dismissing those that are more difficult. True faith, true belief requires us to accept an authority greater than us. Submission to the authority of God and of the Church is not an act of weakness or an act of cowardice. It is an act of bravery and humility to admit that you need something greater than yourself. The authority of the Church is from heaven, from God Himself.
Advent Advantage: Reflect on the teachings of the Church and in particular any teachings you struggle with and find difficult. Pray for God’s guidance and seek to enrich your knowledge of faith in these areas.