2 Thess. 2:1-3,14-17, Ps. 96:10-13, Matthew 23:23-26

“Hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity.” (Matthew 23:25)

Today’s Gospel passage calls for a deep examination of conscience. Once again, we must bear in mind that Jesus never set out to just condemn these religious leaders, His words were uttered out of love for them to wake up from their slumber and make them apply the needed changes in areas where they were getting it wrong.

Today, we hear Jesus accusing the Scribes and Pharisees of paying so much emphasis on TITHES while ignoring the weightier matters of the law such as justice, mercy, and faith. In fact, Jesus says the issue of the tithe is like a fly compared to a camel. If I begin to preach that failure to pay tithe is tantamount to going to hell, I am sincerely a Scribe and a Pharisee because I have turned the truth upside down. Note that Jesus did not condemn tithing, he says it is not as important as justice, mercy, and faith.

We Scribes and Pharisees today are more concerned about the number of people who come to our churches than the quality of their spiritual life. We wash the outside of the cup; we make the people feel good yet inside their hearts is full of corruption, wickedness, and evil. No wonder, as churches increase exponentially in our cities, crime and evil also increase.

True change can only begin from the inside. As the saying goes, if you want to change the world, begin with the man you see in the mirror. If my preaching must be of any relevance, I must first do away with my hypocrisy and love for money. I must admit the truth and lead by example so as not to demand certain standards from the people which I am not even willing to meet.

Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, give us the grace to practice what we preach that our life may not preach a gospel different from that of our lips. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of week 21 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 2 Thess. 2:1-3,14-17, Ps. 96:10-13, Matthew 23:23-26).

© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu