Wednesday of 21st Year, uneven numbered year Mercredi de la 21e semaine, année impaire

“From the outside you look upright but inside you are full of hyocrisy.”
Wednesday 4 November 2015

1. Th. 2,9-13 Ps.138 Mt. 23,27-32

Wednesday of 21st Week, uneven numbered year

“Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look handsome on the outside, but inside are full of the bones of the dead and every kind of corruption.In just the same way, from the outside you look upright, but inside you are full of hypocrisy.You are the children of those who murdered the prophets!”

It is obvious that not all the Pharisees were hypocrites, but Jesus denounces a frequent deformation in the religious leaders , amongst men attracted to their faith. Jesus uses the word ’hypocrite’ to designate what is superficial and someone who doesn’t take the Words of God seriously. The prophets found many adversaries in God’s people, and especially amongst the people in charge.We do not wish to be established in the darkness of exteriority but we want to dwell in the love that never stops burning in the heart of the Father.In the Gospel Jesus deplores this behaviour that stifles true life, God’s Life within us.We have clothed Christ, He is the Light of the world. We become what we are if we are witnesses to the Light that dwells within us. This Light of which we are witnesses is the love burning in our hearts. This love is communicated to us by Jesus’ Heart and is revealed to us in the Holy Spirit. Jesus manifested the Light of his love to the world by walking on earth as littlest of all men. We can be waiting for a God bursting forth with an outer glory! Yet God’s bursting forth with glory is done in the Heart of Mary, in Jesus who will be born a s a little child.

"Alas for you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build the sepulchers of the prophets and decorate the tombs of the upright, saying ’We have joined in shedding the blood of the prophets, had we lived in our ancestor’s day.’

Many of the defenders of the faith in the Jewish communities were not ready to listen to Jesus their new prophet. They took to heart to honour the prophets of the past and to preserve the sacred books, but they didn’t accept the critic that

God addressed to them through Jesus’ mouth, he who was a carpenter. So as to accompany the smallest who are Jesus’ brothers we need to enter into this Light of the tiny little ones. Being little like this makes us at ease wherever we may be. This is where God has put us and we are happy to carry out our tasks. This is where we do God’s Will, by being who we are. The Jewish lawyers let the moment where God had come to visit them pass by, taking the path that would plunge their nation into ruin. The world is very often in a state of violence and suffering. There is a temptation in our families : to let ourselves be taken up in an exteriority which is violent! But the light that envelops us conquers darkness. The work God asks of us is done in gentleness and humility. thus we shine forth the Light of Christ. We do not give in to the temptation to be situated in an exteriority that the Gospel deplores : Jesus tells us that if we are poor, we are blessèd.

“your own evidence tells against you! You are the children of those who murdered the prophets! Very well, then finish off the work that your ancestors began!.”

Do not judge. The moral judgement of the Pharisees is out of sorts. Their attention is on the details of the Law a the quantity of work that a man can do on the day of the Sabbath, or how many ablutions are necessary before taking a meal, but on the other hand they neglect what is serious in the Law and do not see what is good and fine in other people. They are taken up with wanting to defend their authority and their position rather than seeing the good in their brothers. Jesus warns them : ’Beware!’ From the outside they look fine, they looks s if they are holy, pure and virtuous. Jesus will teach ’Blessed are the pure of heart’ he invites us to purify our inside with grace and to clothe ourselves in humility. Christ Jesus asks us to have a pure life, one that is transparent, reflecting holiness and honesty.

Let us ask for the grace to dwell in light so as to be witnesses of the love of God’s heart.