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Tuesday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

It is easier to do things that are prescribed by law than to really put ourselves into the spirit and purpose of the law. To come to Mass, to receive the sacraments, to contribute our money, to voice our belief in the doctrines of the Church - in other words - to go through the motions of religion is much easier than meaning what we are doing and trying to live better, loving lives every moment of everyday. This is what Jesus was telling the scribes and Pharisees. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites!”

Jesus criticizes these pious men for tithing but also neglecting the essential aspects of the law: judgment, mercy and fidelity. He scathingly calls the scribes and Pharisees “blind guides” who “strain out the gnat and swallow the camel.” These words were a powerful and public denouncement of the scribes and Pharisees.They paid their tithes, but they were not just nor merciful. They didn’t even contribute in good faith. They did it for selfish, deceptive purposes. They wanted to appear holy, but inside they gave shelter to evil purposes and pursuits. Make yourselves better inside, Jesus told them. Your outside actions will then follow from your goodness.

This lesson screams how critical humility is in our walk with Jesus. Are we listening to the cries of those around us? Are we seeking to understand the life story of others and are we showing empathy and love? Do they see Jesus and HIS love through our response to them? In these troubling times, we must never forget that only God has the answers, only HE has the complete perspective, we are simply called to let HIS amazing love flow through us.

Look at yourself. Compare your religious doings with your daily life doings. Do they relate? Or are they divorced from one another like Jesus and Satan? We all need to listen to Jesus, “First cleanse the inside of the cup so that its outside may be clean.”

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