Today’s Gospel tells how the authorities came to Jesus demanding to know what legal right he had for doing what they called “these things.” By that they were referring to Our Lord’s actions first in driving the buyers and sellers out of the temple, and secondly in ushering into the temple the halt and the blind whose infirmities made them too unclean to enter the temple.
We will never be accosted on those charges, but we have been snared for other legal lapses. We might have not filled out the back of some form, or we haven’t got some papers into the mail on the right date. We might have been too young or too old to apply for something.
Once when I was signing up for a graduate degree at a Jesuit university, and I had just enough money to pay for three full semesters. I didn’t understand one question on the registration form, so I asked the lady at the desk about it. Her name was Miss Bishop. She said, “If you can’t figure that out you aren’t ready for this advanced course.” I checked the wrong line, and as a result I could not use the credits I earned toward my degree. I had to scare up money for another semester.
Since we all get hung up on technicalities, it is comforting to see that Jesus had to face up to troublesome inquiries. Today’s Gospel shows us that he can give us help in throwing the confusion back at them.