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Saturday, May 29, 1999

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Sirach 51:12-20
Psalm 19
Mark 11:27-33

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pop the question

"Jesus said to them, 'I will ask you a question.' " —Mark 11:29

Did you ever notice that Jesus was constantly asking questions to those around Him? "Search the Scriptures" (Jn 5:39), especially the gospels, and notice the contexts in which He asks these questions. At times, he asks a question to elicit a response of faith (see Lk 18:41). Sometimes, he asks a question as the grand finale to a teaching (see Mt 21:31, 42). At other times, he asks a question which He knows that no one will answer, simply to drive home a point (see Mk 3:4; Mt 22:45).

Some of Jesus' most interesting questions were delivered in response to bad faith (see Mk 2:24-25). Jesus often defended the faith not so much by giving an answer; rather, He would come right back at His challengers by questioning them. Jesus and the apostles did not shrink from taking authority and challenging those who challenged them. In the same way, we who follow Jesus can take our cue from Him. We Christians often humble ourselves before those who seek to discredit us. We can tend to be meek and humble, patiently answering all challenges to what we believe. However, the foundation for our Christian faith is rock-solid and time-tested. Instead, we can operate from a position of confidence and authority, and insist that our challengers try to defend their own position.

Learn from Jesus. One well-timed question from our lips can open a hostile heart forever.

Prayer:  Father, may my words be pleasing to You.

Promise:  "In the short time I paid heed, I met with great instruction. Since in this way I have profited, I will give my Teacher grateful praise." —Sir 51:16-17

Praise:  Samantha was led by the Holy Spirit to pray fervently for her friend. Later, she discovered that her friend was delivered from danger at that very hour.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, October 9, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 17, 1998