Tuesday, August 27, 2019
WEDNESDAY, 21ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
August 28, 2019 – WEDNESDAY, 21ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
St. Augustine of Hippo, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
1 Thes 2: 9 – 13 / Mt 23: 27 – 32
Born in Tagaste in Africa, St. Augustine (354 – 430), Bishop of Hippo and one of the greatest doctors of the Church, called the "Doctor of Grace," combated Manicheans, Donatists and Pelagians.
FROM THE 1ST READING: 1 Thes 2: 13
This is why we never cease giving thanks to God for, on receiving our message, you accepted it, not as human teaching, but as the word of God. That is what it really is, and as such it is at work in you who believe.
GOSPEL READING: 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!"
In his public ministry of teaching and healing, Jesus encountered great opposition from the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law and the other religious leaders of Israel: he threatened their authority with his teaching with great wisdom and authority; he invited followers with his compassionate mercy and healing miracles; he challenged their religious practices especially by healing on the sabbath; he challenged their faith by his claim to be the Son of God.
In the Gospel reading, towards the end of his public ministry and life, Jesus criticizes and condemns the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law for their hypocrisy, for living and pretending to be what they really were not, for not following their own law and prescriptions, for showing no real care for the people they led and served.
How much hypocrisy do we have in our own lives? Do we live what we say and preach? Do we honestly see and know our inner selves, what we really and truly are before ourselves and before the God who sees and knows all things?
Do any of Jesus' woes against the Pharisees and the leaders of the Law strike what we are and have been?
Do we live out what we say we believe? Do we walk our talk?
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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