Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Reflection by Lyn Francisco
Today's Gospel: Matthew 23:27-32
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear a couple of "woes", with Jesus scolding the scribes and Pharisees, criticizing their hypocritical characters. He calls them out on their two-faced behavior: on the outside, they may show that they are pious and good, but on the inside, they show a very different side that is not so good, full of “hypocrisy and evildoing” (Mt. 23:28). It’s not a very comfortable situation when you are faced with dealing with such people. How can you trust that the person won’t say one thing to your face and then do the opposite thing behind your back? Or backstab you? Or spread gossip against you? It’s very easy to feel hopeless in the face of such behavior, but instead of dwelling on that, we leave it all in God’s hands. He knows what’s in your heart, even if you might not know it yet.
The second woe is a more pointed criticism of these scribes and Pharisees: they create tombs for the prophets; however, they perpetuate the cycle by killing the future generation of prophets. It’s like history repeating itself: they honor and revere the previous generation of God’s messengers and yet justify the persecution of the next generation of His prophets. The words from Jesus’ lips seem very harsh; however, He knows what’s in your heart, and He tells the hard truths. It may be difficult to hear, but it’s the kind of message that needs to be said, no matter what the cost may be.
How often do our words and actions show one face to the world, full of righteousness, and yet exhibit not-so-righteous behavior? What can we do to overcome this?
Gracious God, help us to be mindful of ourselves so that we do not exhibit hypocrisy in our words and in our actions. Help us to be open to the needs of others that we may show mercy and kindness to them. Amen.
Copyright 2020 Lyn Francisco
Lyn Francisco is an organic chemist by training and education. When she is not at the lab bench, she occupies an organ bench in churches around Durham, NC. She also serves as cantor at Immaculate Conception Church in Durham.
About the Author
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