Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

August 23, A.D. 2005

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Psalm 139:1-6
Matthew 23:23-26

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

I often wondered why Jesus' criticism of the Pharisees was so harsh. He stopped at nothing to show the hypocrisy of their ways and many times sounded as if insulting them was not even a concern. I have come to realize that His criticism of them was warranted due to the fact that their errors were so egregious.

For instance, in today's gospel, Jesus points out that the Pharisees took the time to measure their tithes on mint, dill and cumin, all spices which could not have amounted to much. But at the same time they missed the more important part of the law: judgment, mercy and fidelity. Jesus says they are blind and points out once again that they are too concerned with the immaterial things, like gnats, while neglecting the important aspects of the law.

The simple truth is the Pharisees had gotten so immersed in the smallest details of the law, that they lost sight of the most important message God ever gave. This is the message of love which results in charity and mercy. While the Pharisees stood counting the small amounts of spices for their tithes, the poor stood at the temple entrance begging alms while starving and suffering.

We run the risk of the same problem today, getting caught up in the details at the expense of the important part of our faith. Jesus made this easy for us by telling us that two commandments are the mst important: to love God with our entire being and to love others as ourselves. Like they say, the rest is just details.

- Don Claunch, SFO
(dlclaunch at bresnan dot net)

Lives of the saints:

Tuesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

St. Rose of Lima, virgin

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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