Twenty First Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mt 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!”
DISGUISED DECAY: William Shakespeare in one of works the Hamlet says, “one smile, and smile, and be a villain.” It means that the good looking, attractive, smiling faces may be the criminals. Paul says that they urged the church to live a life worthy of God. And by receiving the word, they allowed it to work in them when they believed. On the other side, the Pharisees were pretenders showing one thing on the outside, but the hearts remained unconverted because they did not believe in Jesus. We live in a society full of people who may walk with bowed heads, reverent steps and folded hands in the posture of humility. They do all these for people to see. Their very humility is a pose of pride. This is decay disguised in actions of humility.
PRAYER: God help us to have genuine humility.
A LION IN A CAT: Human being has the ability to appear what one is not in reality. The Jews tried to paint the tombs in order to make them white and protect them from touching the dead body which would make them unclean for their feasts. White washing the tombs did not remove the dead bones and bodies inside the tomb. It is common for people to care for external at the expense of the inside. Shakespeare says, “ A man may walk with bowed head and reverent steps and folded hands in the posture of humility and all the time be looking down with cold contempt on those whom he regards as sinners.” Sometimes people struggle to deceive others by the outside appearance. God sees the inside and would like us to make our interior life beautiful.