A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 23:27-32

Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous,  and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”

REFLECTION: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.

We all know two faced people. In fact I have been one and most likely still am but I don’t like to admit it. In our journey with Jesus, we can either be bystanders and see and hear the rebukes of Jesus when addressing the scribes and Pharisees.. We see their flaws and are ready to agree that they were not nice people.

In a movie one can tell the villain or the guilty one by the background music, the select words the “villain” uses or better we see what they do when no one is watching. We think we would never be that way. We are the audience and have a panoramic view of their life. But can we see our lives and how we affect others and how our words and facial expressions change depending whom we are with?

Did the scribes and Pharisees begin their work for God in innocence and a pure heart? After all it was their ministry. Either after associating with different people, or having no one question their authority they allowed pride to take over their intentions: they became demanding, hypocritical, self righteous, deceitful and not decent people. When did they forget their roles as religious leaders? When did they lose sight of who they were?

When we read this Gospel our tendency might be to envision other people and think this Gospel is about them. We know people who we think are self righteous yet masquerade as being good and pious. But they are not!

But can we see ourselves?

Food for Thought:

“Rabbi, I don’t understand it: one approaches a poor man, he is friendly and helps wherever he can. But if one approaches a rich man, he doesn’t even look at you. How can money, position or fame change people like that?”

The Rabbi answered, Go to the window. What do you see?”

“I see a lady with a baby, and a truck that is going to the market.”

“Good. Now go over and look in the mirror. What do you see there?”

“Well, Rabbi, what am I supposed to see? All I see is myself.”

“Now notice this and you’ll see why: the window pane is made of glass; the mirror is also made of glass. But all you have to do is paint a little silver on the back of a glass and all you can see is yourself.”

God Bless You

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