Monday of 3rd Week of Advent A

Playing Ignorance Game

Balaam was a famous pagan oracle reported in the book of Numbers in today’s first reading. Balak, son of Zippor, saw the Israelites in number and sent messengers to Balaam to summon him to come to wipe out the people of Israel from the land of Egypt. Balaam was hired to come to “curse this people [the Israelites]” for him. In all three times he was hired to curse the Israelites, he was stopped by the donkey he rode on. Balaam was mad and hit the donkey when he stopped him the third time. God allowed the donkey talked to him, he said, “What have I done to you that you beat me these three times?” “You have acted so willfully against me,” said Balaam to the donkey, “that if I only had a sword at hand, I would kill you here and now.” But the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have always ridden until now? Have I been in the habit of treating you this way before?” “No,” he replied. Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, so that he saw the angel of the LORD standing on the road with sword drawn; and he knelt and bowed down to the ground. He finally learned the lesson and came to the Israelites to speak his oracle reported in today’s first reading.

There is only one true God, the Lord Jesus Christ, that only in humility one can recognize him who has authority reported in today’s Gospel. Who is Jesus Christ? He’s not one of the chief priests. He’s not one of the elders, but he’s teaching in the temple area such as the one who has authority that makes the chief priests and the elders of Israel not happy that they asked him, reported in today’s Gospel, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” Out of envy and jealous that they asked Jesus these questions, but Jesus replied, “I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. Where was John's baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They played ignorance game and said to Jesus, “We do not know.”

Out of jealousy and envy they played ignorance game, have you and I ever ignored the teaching of the Lord and the teaching of the Church? How would we recognize him in our life while we are waiting to celebrate his birthday and waiting for his second coming?


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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