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Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Scriptural readings: Ephesians 1:1-10; Psalms 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4, 5-6; Luke 11:47-54

My dear encountered couples:

We are told that after Jesus spoke harshly to the Pharisees and scribes that they “began to manifest fierce hostility to him and to make him speak on a multitude of questions.” Sounds sort of like a congressional hearing, doesn’t it? One person being barraged by a group of questioners, hour after hour after hour, trying to trip him up somewhere in his answers in order to gain enough proof for punishment. If we are to believe what Jesus said of the scribes and Pharisees, they should have been the ones under questioning. They had a lot of explaining to do. How about us?

Jesus was innocent of every charge, answered every question truthfully, and they couldn’t get a thing on him. But I’m afraid few of us could find ourselves innocent of all charges. Like the scribes and Pharisees, we have a lot to answer for. There is a lot we could be punished for, and deservedly. But as St. Paul so poetically pointed out, Jesus has gotten us off the hook.

“Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:” wrote Paul. “It is in Christ and through his blood that we have been redeemed and our sins forgiven, so immeasurably generous is God’s favor to us.”

Though what Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees could most likely be said about us, maybe even worse, he took our place in line for punishment. If they had listened to him and understood what he was saying, they might not have gotten their feathers all ruffled up. But they were too proud and too spiritually blind. They refused to accept Christ and his salvation of them from their sins. You and I do accept. And we expect to go to heaven, not because we are good, but because Jesus Christ is good.

Suppose we can show him more love today to prove how grateful we are?

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