Posted: 27 Aug 2013 06:30 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. Matt 23:27-32
Reflection: What a tragedy! How shall we look at these scribes and the Pharisees, in their pitiable state, as they stand exposed by a one man army; Jesus Christ the righteous one?
What was the sin of the scribes and the Pharisees that they had to face such an onslaught from Jesus?
Was it a curse that Jesus utters against them when he proclaims these woes or shall we look at them as opportunities, maybe, it could be a last one for them, lest they die in this misery of blindness?
Such blind men have no room in the kingdom, because it belongs to the restored and the healthy and Jesus came to set these oppressed free in order that they may enter his kingdom.
On the other hand, the action of the scribes and the Pharisees which Jesus was attacking was the one in which they build the tombs of the prophets which their fathers had murdered.
What is more they apparently seemed truly repentant when they would say: “’If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ (vs. 30)
Jesus exposes them in their statement; by making such a noble statement they were actually being a witness to a grave fact that their forefathers were murderers and thus they were sons of murderers.
It seemed like a noble intention on their part to protect the prophet in their day, as if they had learnt from the folly of their fathers.
If that was so; then anyone’s noble desire would remain a noble desire to the end, that too perfectly so, then surely they would not face the wrath of God.
But that is not so, even in our day there are the countless who begin well and carry such a desire in their hearts, of serving God, of protecting his prophets, and bringing glory to his name with a noble desire.
Some have even achieved great heights of power and position and yet many ultimately end up like these scribes and Pharisees, as murderers who go on to crucify the Lord; if not in deeds then in at least words
Prayer: Lord, purify those noble intentions and may your spirit constantly make us alive to walk in your ways.
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