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Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

Sounds like lawyers were not the most popular people at the time of Jesus any more than they are now. That’s too bad. For good lawyers usually get condemned along with the corrupt. But the tirade of Jesus against Pharisees and lawyers should give us cause to pause and think. None of us is to use our abilities or positions for selfish gains; we are not to use them thoughtlessly.

The abilities we have are for the good of many, not just for ourselves, certainly not just to make money. Good cooks, good servers, good managers, are needed by everyone. Intelligent people, clever people, wise people are in demand everywhere; they are to assist people to have a better life. Actors, comedians, entertainers are honored and acclaimed; they are needed to bring relaxation, laughter, and music into lives that might otherwise be dreary. Artists and architects, designers and decorators can add comfort and beauty to life.

People with those talents and other talents can use them for the good of people, or to take advantage of people. We know that. And Jesus knew it too. But he wanted to remind us. It is not just the selfish lawyer or judge who can use the legal system to his own advantage, but anyone with any talent whatsoever can use what he has in merely self –serving ways.

When Jesus attacks the corrupt and non-caring lawyers of his day, he is attacking anyone who is like them. “Woe to you lawyers! You lay impossible burdens on people but will not lift a finger to lighten them.” Let us remember what Jesus said, and hope he never says it to us.

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