Daily Reflection for Monday, August 22, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends, and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Monday’s readings at this link:
Memorial of The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12
Responsorial: Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 4-5
Gospel: Matthew 23:13-22
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men.
You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.. Matthew 23: 13.
To this end, we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith. 2 Thessalonians 1:11
“Woe” is both a warning and an exclamation of grief. In today’s Gospel, Jesus expresses His grief with the scribes and Pharisees, the leaders of the church at that time. Jesus is deeply troubled by the hypocrisy of their words in contrast with their actions.
Jesus is rebuking the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy. They were locking the kingdom of God to others, and Jesus warns them that they have not entered that kingdom themselves. When He taught us to pray the “Our Father,” Jesus tells us, “Thy kingdom come.”
Jesus tells us not to lock the kingdom of God from others. Instead, our purpose is to build that kingdom with all its love, justice, and mercy.
In contrast to the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees, St. Paul praises the people of the church of the Thessalonians for “the love of every one of you for one another” (2 Thessalonians 1:1), and warns in verse 9 that those who do not obey the Gospel of the Lord will be separated from God’s presence and the glory of His love.
And in the Alleluia before the Gospel reading Jesus tell us “My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me.” (John 10:27).
How relevant to today! We see hypocrisy all around us. In our politicians, business leaders, even our church. And I see it in myself. Too often I am silent when I should speak out; passive when I should be active; judgmental when I should be tolerant and forgiving; impatient when I should be patient; selfish when I should be generous.
St. Paul and Mother Mary, please pray for me that I can be worthy of the calling of Jesus to love one another and spread the peace of God.
Peace and blessings,