Mk 11:27-33 Getting It!
Honor held. Victory assured. Death be gain.
I am convinced that the early Christians must have developed an honor code from the very beginning of their existence. After all, they were persecuted right from the beginning, before the third day even dawned. Once upon a time they were locked inside their isolation room and held behind the bars of their fears with the entire world looking for them. They knew not what to do. When all hope appeared lost, the Lord of all Hope reminded them of who they must be, what they must say and what they must do. It was their God moment. They finally got it: He is the Lord. His faithful few never turned back. His presence lead them to break free, take the lead, and begin to serve. The world would never be the same again.
“When I was young and innocent.” (Sirach 51:13)
Twenty years ago I had my God moment. After having been far away from the Church for almost ten years I returned with a fury! Spurned for my Catholic belief, I began to devour all the books I could on The Faith. I did not buckle when I was accused of trying to defend the undefendable. Rather, I defended it because it was more than defendable. I was not about to throw away my family’s honor, dignity over some twenty-year-old girlfriend and her fifteen-year-old Bible Church. I fought back the urge to not fight. I fought like a dog and was appalled at what I had seen. The Church that I had never really known made more sense than I; it loved more than I, but at the same time was persecuted more than I. I would never be the same again.
The Lord surrounded me and I surrendered. The little bulb of reason had burned out and my life took on a completely new light. I saw things as I had never seen them before: clear, simple, and radiant. Everything changed because I saw them with new eyes. I can see why so many wars have been fought over religion. If there is any war worth fighting for, the one for Christ is worth fighting for. It is much more justifiable than the reasonable war of ideology. The war for Christ is the only war that will end all wars.
Jesus does not answer the Pharisees questions. Why should he? They still didn’t get it. The Lord knew that they were not interested in the truth. Rather, they were interested in a trap, a motive, a hunt and a killing. How will we trap him? How will we capture God; put him in a box, seal him and lower him into the depths of the earth forever? Out of sight and out of mind! How will we do it? Will it be through science and Hollywood? Will it be through teen idols and revolutions? Will it be through secular education and social “reforms”? Or will it be through counterfeit ideas of equality, justice and tolerance?
I have only one question for them: By what authority do you do these things?
We do not know. They will not tell us. Not because they fear the Lord but because they know him not! They don't get it! Their fate, not the Lord's, is sealed with their decision, their sins. Even the Apostles, without Christ, were trapped (in the upper room). But with Him they are set free! We know him and by his passion, death and resurrection, we are obliged to tell the world who He is and by whose authority he speaks.
Christians do the world a lot of good and there is still much to do. If we remain faithful, there will be growth in wisdom and strength, honor and glory till death be gain!