Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
“By what authority are you doing these things?”
In today’s Gospel passage we hear a face-off between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day. They challenge Jesus to explain the origin of His authority.
In response, Jesus cleverly poses what seems like a simple question. It would hardly seem related to the topic raised by the religious leaders: “Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin?”
However, this question trips up the religious leaders precisely because they lack authority. Instead, they pander to the crowds, worrying about what those whom they’re supposed to be leading will think of them.
Jesus’ question to these leaders is a challenge to those today who claim to lead in the Name of Jesus. He challenges them to hold fast to the teachings of Jesus, even when this might cause them to be unpopular with those whom they lead.