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Denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees

Gospel Reading: Mt 23:27-32
Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”

REFLECTION
Inside you are filled with Hypocrisy
Jesus denounces the scribes and Pharisees for their duplicity and insincerity in their ministry.

If they work for God, Jesus says, they must be righteous in the true sense of the word. They should represent God.

God is holy; they must be holy. It is easy to appear holy in public. But holiness cannot be for show. God knows the interior life of each one. God wants consistency between what is projected outside and what is inside.

Jesus compares hypocrites with cadavers. There is nothing glamorous with them. Hypocrites are those who think they have not done any wrong. Being self-righteous, they do not see the need to change; their only preoccupation is to justify their actuations. They end up confusing the people who follow them.

Hypocrites can also be good decorators. With their skills and talents, they can work up a good display for special occasions. But in their hearts, they are full of deceit and fake spiritual values. They earn their living by manipulating people. They are practically vultures in religious robes.

Do you shun hypocrisy and strive for integrity?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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