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Double standards

Background Music: Panalangin
    Written by: Mark Anthony Cuevas
    Voiced by: Arlene Donarber

October 19, Thursday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary time
Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Daily Readings: Romans 3:21–30,  Luke 11:47–54

Once, a young couple got settled in a new house. The first day, while they were eating breakfast, the young girl saw her neighbor hanging her washed linen to dry. "Look, her clothes are not clean,” she said. “Maybe she does not have a good washing machine.” Her husband looked at the clothes, and they looked at her but remained silent. Every morning, she would make the same observations about the dirty laundry. After a month, the woman was surprised. She saw the clothes as very clean and tidy. She said this to her husband. "Look, dear, I think they bought a new washing machine.” The husband replied, No. They did not do anything; I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.” This is very true about life. We only want others to be good when we ourselves are evil. We have one standard for others and another one for ourselves. We do not realize that what we need to clean are our own windows and not others' clothes.

In Luke chapter 111 verse 47, we read, “Jesus said, woe to you, for you built the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. The lawyers, the scribes, and the pharisees of Jesus ‘time were more concerned about executing the law for others, while they themselves did not practice it." Jesus asks us a basic question today. “Do we listen to those who speak the wisdom of God and live according to their message?”

God's wisdom was personified in the teachings of the prophets. But they also received rejection and martyrdom because they spoke for God. Jesus is criticizing the double-mindedness of the religious leaders of his time. They admired the prophets and built tombs for them. But they never listened to their message or lived according to the word of God.

Jesus exposes the failure of the lawyers, the experts of the mosaic law. Their main responsibility was to study and interpret the law for the youth. They lay down thousands of trivial laws and observances to make people’s lives burdensome. And they lived their lives licentiously. They don’t understand the law as a means to know God and relate to him. But they reduced religion to mere legalism.

As disciples, Jesus invites us to give more importance to the practice of the law than just teaching and interpreting it according to our convenience.

May we recognize our failures in our fulfillment of the law and take the right steps to follow the wisdom of God rather than the legal interpretation of the law that makes life difficult.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.