1st Reading: 2 Thes 3:6–10, 16–18
Gospel: Mt 23:27–32
Jesus said, “Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs beautiful in appearance, but inside there are only dead bones and uncleanness. In the same way you appear as religious to others, but you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness within.
“Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous. You say: Had we lived in the time of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in the blood of prophets. So, you yourselves confess to be kins of those who murdered the prophets. And now, finish off what your ancestors began!”
Outward appearances can be deceptive, as we know so well. We can judge what is on the outside, but only God can judge the deep recesses of the human heart.
Our integrity is compromised when our outer appearance does not match what is going on within. We are guilty of hypocrisy when outward religiosity is not matched by deeds and words of kindness and mercy.
The Lord who judges also forgives. May we turn to Him with a contrite heart and invite Him to give us the grace that will effect within us inner renewal and ongoing conversion of life.
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