Reading 1 1Thes 2:9-13
Responsorial Psalm PS 139:7-8, 9-10, 11-12ab
R. (1) You have searched and you know me, Lord.
Gospel Mt 23:27-32
Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. Mt 23:26-32
This is the last of the “woe” accusations Jesus makes to the scribes and Pharisees. He was obviously calling them to accountability for their actions. While we may not engage in the same kind of actions as the Pharisees, how often in our communication do we not live up to what we say we will do. When you speak to your spouse how often do you have to say, “I didn’t mean that.”? or “that just slipped out” or I’m sorry, I won’t say that again and yet it happens over and over in your relationship. In all these woe passages Jesus is trying to get the scribes and Pharisees to look inside themselves to see the state of their hearts. They were quite good at calling others to change and even insisting on it at times, and yet they operated from a “do as I say not as I do” mentality. This gives us much to think about in terms of how we communicate and treat each other. We can say and do all kinds of loving things or apologize when we push too hard, but in the end, if our hearts are not in the right place we are hypocrites just as Jesus accuses them of being. Look today and see if your actions and your hearts are in line with each other. We can be whitewashed on the outside as Jesus says of the tombs but if our hearts are filled with anger, jealousy, pride, or lust then there likely will be“woes” in our lives.
Gracious God, You have searched us and You know us. Even if we wanted to there is nowhere can we go to get away from Your spirit. We cannot flee from your presence. When we are discouraged and are filled with woe You are there. Your hand guides us, no matter if we are in darkness or light and your right hand holds us fast. Just as St; Paul says, for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that, in receiving the word of God we are freer from sorrows and discouragement in our lives. It is the word of God, which is now at work in us, that helps us to change our hearts, to turn away from the hypocritical actions. We sit before You today and say we believe. Continue to bless us and keep our hearts focused on You. Amen.
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