Homily for Friday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Ephesians 1:11-14, Psalm 33:1-13 and Luke 12:1-7
“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” (Luke 12:1-2)
There is the story of a certain saint who was tempted by a woman of easy virtue. After trying so hard to lure him into sin, the saint agreed to what she was asking for but requested that they both go to a certain secret place. She was full of delight and agreed to follow him. He went through many streets and each time she kept asking: “Is this the place?” With a smile on his face, he would say: “Not yet.”
Finally, they came to a very busy market where a large crowd pressed about them from every side and the Saint said to her: “Here is the place. Let us do what you want.” She immediately took to her heels running as fast as she could. The question I have always pondered is why we humans tend to be at our best ONLY when we are aware that people are watching us. In other words, why do we think it is okay to do evil so long as no one is watching us?
In secret, we gently negotiate with the devil and end up falling most of the time but in public, we suddenly develop the courage to say: “Get behind me Satan.” Hypocrisy, a behaviour which Jesus describes as the leaven of the Pharisees lives among us. So many Christians and even ministers are afflicted with this leaven today. Growing up we all knew the eleventh commandment was: “Never get caught.” We played “hide and seek” a lot and even as grown-up adults, we continue to play the same game. We care more about maintaining a good image before others than actually looking good before God.
Jesus tells us today in very clear terms: “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” I mean, there is no need to tell a lie because if the truth is not known today, it will be known one day. There comes a time that your cover would blow up and everything you have covered up, pretended about and hidden will be exposed. Happy for you if this happens while you are still alive, you may have time to redeem your image but if your secrets come out after your death, that is what you will be remembered for.
Dear friends, it is possible to fight hypocrisy. It is a virus that we must end lest it ends our relationship with God – lest it makes us whitewash tombs (clean on the outside but full of dead men’s bones inside. We can never hide from God’s presence, He sees everything. Do you know your very thoughts are not hidden from God? Even the hairs on your head are numbered. So why try to play smart? Why keep a secret affair? Why that extra-marital relationship or break your professed vows hoping the other party would keep quiet? Why should you ever be involved in any venture that you fear if exposed would damage your reputation?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, I repent of my past sins. I resolve from today to only please you by what I do especially in secret. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you.