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All Issues > Volume 27, Issue 2

<< Tuesday, March 22, 2011 >>
Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
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Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23 Matthew 23:1-12
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"The scribes and the Pharisees have succeeded Moses as teachers; therefore, do everything and observe everything they tell you. But do not follow their example." —Matthew 23:2-3

The religious leaders of Jesus' time were bad examples (Mt 23:3), frauds (Mt 23:13, 15, 23, 27, 29), blind guides (Mt 23:16, 24), and blind fools (Mt 23:17). They were a "viper's nest," a "brood of serpents" (Mt 23:33), "like whitewashed tombs" (Mt 23:27).

The religious leaders merited such condemnations because:

  1. their words were bold but their deeds few (Mt 23:4),
  2. they burdened people more than unburdened them (Mt 23:4),
  3. all their works were performed to be seen (Mt 23:5), and
  4. they were fond of being honored and respected (Mt 23:6-7).

In summary, Jesus condemned the religious leaders of His day because they exalted themselves (Mt 23:12).

Most of you reading this are religious by the standards of our time. Moreover, many of you are religious leaders in your own right. Unlike the Pharisees of old, take Jesus' words personally. Repent. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sins. Go to Confession. "Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow" (Is 1:18). "If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land; but if you refuse and resist, the sword shall consume you: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken!" (Is 1:19-20)

Prayer: Father, free me from religious pride.
Promise: "Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before My eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim." —Is 1:16-17
Praise: Marcia was awakened by God to her "holier than thou" attitude and repented by humbly returning to the Lord.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2011 through March 31, 2011.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July27, 2010.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 27, Issue 2
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