Tuesday 27 August 2019

About Today Readings

St Monica

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8. Psalm 138(139):1-3, 4-6. Matthew 23:23-26.

You have searched me and you know me, Lord – Psalm 138(139):1-3, 4-6.

‘You have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.’

This gospel is part of a long indictment of hypocritical behaviour. When we have pondered the hatefulness of what Jesus charges the Scribes and Pharisees with, it is embarrassing to realise he might turn his accusations against us. He denounces two forms of insincerity. The Pharisees do little things to escape from doing big things. They are scrupulous in observing minor points of law: they think nothing of offending God in serious matters. We may find ourselves among those, for example, who are never impolite but often unkind.

Jesus accuses the Pharisees of keeping rules without thought of the values that the rules protect or enforce. We can make our own list of laws that we might keep to the letter but practise without the spirit. Today we have an opportunity to start again from Jesus’ reminder that what matters is ‘justice and mercy and faith’.

Email this Print This Page