Monday, 21th Week in Ordinary Time
Daily Readings: 1 Thessolians 1:1-5, 8-10 & Matthew 23: 13 – 22
Reflection Date: August 23, 2021
All the four gospels record that many times, Jesus was annoyed with the behavior and practices of His fellow Jews especially the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees. Today’s gospel places before us such an incident wherein Jesus was upset with the religious leaders because they failed to listen to God’s Word and they misled the people. For them the laws, rules and regulations were more important than the human well-being/human person.
Nevertheless, in their zeal to win converts, they enforced unnecessary and burdensome rules which obscured the more important matters of religion, such as love of God and neighbor. Instead of orienting the people towards God, they were leading people away from God. They were blinded with their own hypocrisy and prejudices. In today’s Gospel, Jesus chastised them for their avoidance of binding oaths and solemn promises out of convenience. They forgot that God hears every word uttered and He sees the intention of the heart even before we speak or act.
Moreover, at first instance the words of Jesus sound like a warning to us who could be possibly shutting the door of God’s kingdom in our lives by closing our ears to Jesus. Like the people of Thessalonica in the first reading (2 Thessolians 1: 1 – 5, 11b – 12) we are called to seek God and to do His will. Are we far from the practices of the Pharisees and scribes? Don’t we at times behave like the Pharisees and Scribes?
Let us spend some time rejuvenating, renewing, reviewing the practice of our faith and addressing the errors in it. Let us shed the Pharisaic mentality and put on the armour of God.
Joseph Cardozo SJ | Contributor
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.