Jesus is saying some very harsh things in today’s gospel. He’s in a tirade against some if the leaders and teachers of his time, who like to make pronouncements about following the Law, do little, if anything, to follow the heart of the Law: love of God and neighbor. They were the worst of teachers because their example….their witness…was totally missing. Hypocrisy, the greatest enemy to religion and the church, was exposed by Jesus. They were not pleased, and neither would any one of us be overjoyed at experiencing our hypocrisy exposed, particularly if it is so public.
Our Lord is not doing this to humiliate us, but to free us by facing the inner truth of our hearts. When we face this “inner truth” as unpleasant as it can be, we can change!!! Yes, we can live out a love that doesn’t judge or impose but one that is patient, kind, generous and filled with joy.
Let us be led by the Spirit of Jesus that wants us to take responsibility for those in the world who are demeaned and have no voice. Our faith begs us to become witnesses and teachers who live out the Beatitudes and Matthew 25: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink…”We will be judged by how we live out these gospel values. The only judging that should take place is when each one of us judges OURSELVES by how we live out the Law gospel Love and whether or not people can see us as authentic witnesses and teachers. Peace. Fr. Frank