A reading from the holy Gospel of Luke 11: 42-46
42"Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. 43"Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces. 44"Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it." 45One of the experts in the law answered him, "Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also." 46Jesus replied, "And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
REFLECTION : you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
HYPOCRISY OF THE PHARISEES
How we dislike phony people, duplicitous people who pretend to be something or someone they are not at all. We have friends who are two phased, pretending to be our friend but in reality an enemy . But the subtleties of the hypocrisy can well disguise the reality of the situation.
The Pharisees of Jesus time were indeed religious fakes, imposing rules and regulations which were in many ways impossible to follow but yet the Jewish people were expected to obey the law. However, the Pharisees did nothing to lift a finger to help them.
The Pharisees were super self righteous in their thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. They paid attention to minutia to the tithing of herbs, they took the place of honor at banquets, wore ostentatious clothing, and imposed impossible laws to follow. And though they were the spiritual leaders, they did nothing to help their people fall in love with God.
We all have some hypocrisy in us, but our consciences and our "fair play" keeps us from living a life full of illusions about ourselves. Sometimes, though, we want others to believe that we are a 10/10 and that all our children are perfect with great jobs, families, and outstanding pillars in the community.
Like a good actor, we can become incredibly believable in the charade we find ourselves in. Hypocrite comes from the Greek word for "actor". Many of us are such good actors/ actresses that we start believing that we are whom we don't really are.
Do we preach but do not practice?
Do we ask our employees, friends, partners to do things and set a deadline realizing that they won't make it and yet not offer to help?
Do you let others know you fast? Do you let others know that you go to daily mass and that you do this and that?
Jesus was deeply offended by the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Let us not offend Jesus by leading lives of two tales. Let us leave our hypocrisies outside and let us live on the more important--of doing the mercy, love and justice that God wants from us.
PRAYER: Dearest Lord, Please help me follow your ways and not mine and please erase all desire to be the best. Allow me to show people how human I am and how much in need I am of your love. Amen
Please pray for our priests.