Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Reflection - Luke 11:42-46
Wednesday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time - Luke 11:42-46
This Gospel opens with “attention-getting” words. Jesus scathingly says to the Pharisees: “Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and rue but you pay no attention to judgment and love for God!” What strong words! To make it worse, Jesus says this to the Pharisees in a public forum.
Jesus then accuses the Pharisees of enjoying “seats of honor in the synagogues and deferential greetings in the marketplace.” He likens the Pharisees to unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk. Finally, one of the scholars spoke up and said: “Teacher, you are insulting us.” However, this does not stop Jesus. He continues: “Woe to you scholars of the law. You impose heavy burdens on the people that are difficult and painful. Yet you do not lift a finger to touch them.”
Now take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of the Pharisees. How would you react to such a public and scathing tongue-lashing? Jesus does not mince any words. The reality is that we all have a Pharisee within us. It naturally comes with our human condition. The challenge for us is to recognize when our internal Pharisee is activated. When we become aware that we are judging another, we then have the opportunity and choice to release our judgment. If we can do this, we not only release the person we were prepared to judge, we also release ourselves. Most likely, we may find that by not judging others, we are happier, more peaceful, and more content. Judgment will poison us if we judge frequently. The choice is ours to make. What will we choose today?