Daily Gospel Reflection for December 14, 2015


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Today’s Gospel: Matthew 21:23-27

Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church

The chief priests and elders were annoyed by Jesus. They tried to trap Him into saying something that could use against Him. They want Him to admit He was God, which would be blasphemy, or just own up to being a fraud.

Jesus turned the table on them by answering their questions with questions. If they say John’s baptism wasn’t of God, they would make the crowd angry. If they admit it was from God, they would be admitting that were unbelievers. Either way would be bad for them. In their frustration, they admit they don’t know. Jesus then refuses to answer their questions since they couldn’t answer His.

The chief priests and elders focused too much on other people’s opinions. They missed what was right in front of them. We often do the same. We are so busy trying to win people’s favor. When we focus too much on that, we might miss what is standing right in front of us. In this case, it was Jesus Himself.


Do I worry too much about how others perceive me?

Am I missing the obvious?

How can I focus on what is truly important?


Jesus, teach me to be concerned with what You think. Do not allow me to fixate on other people’s opinions of me. Reveal yourself fully to me. Amen.

We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.

Copyright 2015 Ellen Toole


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  1. Thank you, Ellen, for your thoughtful observation re: today’s Gospel reading. It is a phenomenon I have personally struggled with for most of my life from youth to adulthood . Your words are very inspiring.

  2. Ellen, I truly appreciated your reflection today. In reading and praying with Matthew’s gospel, I was a bit fixated on how my own occasional doubts about the path of my life can be somewhat like the argumentative nature of the elders. Trusting God’s divine will is a way of accepting and not asking for “proof” like they did. Thank you and have a beautiful day.

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