Author: Lisa Graas
•3/18/2003 07:48:00 AM
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In today's readings we have a lesson in the evil of hypocrisy. We see that it is not the deeds that we perform that are pleasing to God but rather the act of love in our hearts. Hyprocrisy is often a matter of our not being able to see the forest because the trees are in our way. It is not the deed of Mass attendance, for instance, that God finds pleasing in us. It is rather when we rejoice in attending Mass that is pleasing to God.

In the Gospel reading we have a passage that is often quoted by Protestants in their arguments against Catholic use of the term "Father" when addressing priests. Here, the Protestants cannot see the forest because the trees get in their way. Christ is telling us not to model the hypocrisy of those in authority over us. Note that He says that "they have taken their seat on the chair of Moses, therefore do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you." Christ quoted Sacred Tradition when He mentioned "the chair of Moses". This can be found nowhere in the Old Testament because the term is from Tradition. He endorses use of Sacred Tradition and also obedience to a hierarchy. It is hypocrisy that gets in the way of things and not the existence of and obedience to a hierarchy and adherence to Tradition.

May God help us to be properly scrupulous in this time of individual spiritual renewal. May He allow us to see things as they really are despite our desire for them to be otherwise. May we learn self-discipline and obedience to those who are properly in authority over us. May the Lord bless all priests, most especially our beloved Pope. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

God bless you all.

Love from Lisa
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