Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
August 25, A.D. 2004
Scripture from Today's Liturgy of the Word:
2 Thessalonians 3:6-10,16-18
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
"Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees." (Matthew 23:27)
Confronted by today's Gospel, many modern religious writers try to mitigate Christ's words, suggesting Jesus, God's Love Incarnate, would never utter such harsh words, that the Gospel writers were merely using the strongly expressive verbal conventions of their day. However, the Gospels, taken in their entirety, refute this notion; for Christ never minced words nor softened the doctrine of repentance for sins, forgiveness by God and the need for reformation of one's life.
Christ's indictment of the religious professionals as "hypocrites" implies that they were only actors, stage players, performing all the proper actions and saying the right words while inwardly filled with every form of corruption. Their vestments were costumes cloaking their inner persons; their many prayers were not heartfelt but simply their following a written script.
Excluding oneself from faith in God is a serious enough sin, but it is doing the work of Satan to teach others errors and so shut the doors to God's kingdom in their faces. It was pride that rejected Christ, since to believe in Him would be admitting that their teachings were wrong or incomplete.
Were they to be discredited, they would have to abdicate their comfortable positions and high social status.
Have we learned nothing in the intervening two thousand years? Today we continue to kill Christ each time we who call ourselves Christians are unfaithful to Him by adopting worldly values or we denigrate and persecute genuine believers who work diligently to uphold His love and truth.
O Blessed Redeemer,
we ask You to delve deeply into our hearts,
to reveal all those thoughts,
words and actions at enmity with You.
Make us to be Your sincere followers. Amen.
- Marie Bocko, OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)
Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
St. Joseph Calasanz
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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