Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Wednesday 21st Week in Ordinary Time
Wednesday 21st Week in Ordinary Time
[Memorial, St. Monica]
2 Thes 3: 6-10, 16-18 / Ps 128: 1-2, 4-5/ Mt 23: 27-32
Reading: 2 Thes 3: 6-10, 16-18
We command you, beloved, to stay away from believers who are living in idleness contrary to the traditions we passed on to you. You know how you ought to follow our example: we worked while we were with you. Day and night we labored and toiled so as not to be a burden to any of you. We had the right to act otherwise, but we wanted to give you an example. Besides, while we were with you, we said clearly: If anyone is not willing to work, neither should that one eat. May the Lord of peace give you his peace at all times and in every way. May the Lord be with you all. I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is my signature in all my letters. This is how I write. May the grace of Christ Jesus our Lord be with you.
Gospel: Matthew 23: 27-32
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!
Stage and screen actors portray characters except themselves. They pretend to be what they are not and they are good at it because it's their profession. They live fabulous, happy and exciting lives since, being celebrities, their lives are watched by media. But behind the scenes, they are depressed, lonely, dejected. Many of us live a life of pretence especially those in high positions because our reputations are at stake. We feign to be good in order to be applauded and to be entrenched in our high positions in society. We bring along cameras when we help the poor or the victims of calamities. But behind the scene, we treat our helpers like trash. At work, we use every means possible to get to the top. We live extravagantly amidst the poverty of our fellowmen.
Christ calls this hypocrisy. The gospel describes this situation as white-washed tombs - beautiful externally through respectable and admirable lives, but full of rot inside, referring to unjust and corrupt practices. In the gospel, Jesus was pointing at the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, the religious authorities at that time.
We don't need to whitewash ourselves before God. He sees our rot inside, our sinfulness, our true motives. Whoever we are, Jesus came for all of us, to take on our sins and to grant us forgiveness. He is the only One who can love us as we are. He sees our hearts that is why in front of God, we don't need to pretend.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for Almabelle Abapo, Lisa Claire Branzuela and Dale Robert's Basilla; for Marion & Marian Nuevo, who will all take the Physician Licensure Exams (Aug 23,24, 30, 31) - the grace of wisdom, understanding and clarity of mind during their preparations and exam proper.
... for the eternal repose of the soul of Bernabe Makimkim
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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