OUR BIBLE SHARING FOR TODAY ( Matthew 23:23-26)
“Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”
WHAT HAS TOUCHED ME
What has touched me in this Gospel is the Lord’s command “cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”
It has touched me so much because of what he first said. He pointed out the people’s hypocrisy which he denounced in very strong terms. I have never heard Jesus so hard. From this I conclude that the sin they are committing is so big. He commands them to do what is right and stop their hypocrisy. I feel touched by this because I see that cleaning outside and leaving inside dirty is very common in the world. I am aware of how common it is for people to preach very well, and say what should be done, but never do it. I find this hypocrisy in politics, in Church, at the work place, in homes, between couples, friends, business partners, etc. Hence, I am touched by the Lord’s call to the people to throw away this way of doing things. I see this call as directed to me also.
This challenges me to think if the times, I have failed to live up to what I ask others to do. For instance, I often tell people to put God first in everything that they do, but do I always do so myself! I often say all money comes from God and we should give generously to him but do I give generously to God on Sunday? I am challenged to examine myself to see how clean I am inside instead of just outside.
I resolve to clean myself inside not only outside. This means I will do the best I can to live my faith. I shall not end at professing. I shall talk and act. What I tell anyone to do for God or neighbour or relative, I shall show the example.
WORD OF LIFE
My word of life for today is cleanse. I shall keep myself clean not only physically but more importantly, spiritually. I do not see anything good in looking clean and well dressed, but being of an evil heart. To cleanse myself means I shall clean my soul through the sacrament of confession. And I shall try as much as I can to refrain from sin. If temptation comes for me to sin through thoughts, words and deeds, I will make a deliberate effort to stay strong. Knowing that by myself I cannot, but with God I can, I will turn to God in prayer for his grace when temptation knocks on my door.
Dear loving God, I have been reminded in today’s gospel about the sin of hypocrisy; saying one thing and doing another. From your reaction in this gospel you have shown that you frown at hypocrisy. I pray you help me O God of mercy and compassion, not to fall into the sin of hypocrisy. Help me to live what I ask others to do; to do what I preach so that I can be the light to show many others the value of walking the talk as opposed to hypocrisy. And when I sin of Lord of forgiveness, forgive me. This is my humble prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen!