the inescapable trap
"Now it is your turn: fill up the vessel measured out by your forefathers." —Matthew 23:32
Jesus faulted the religious leaders of His time for being so concerned about their outside but not their inside. Jesus said: "You present to view a holy exterior while hypocrisy and evil fill you within" (Mt 23:28). This is a perennial, deep-seated problem. For example, many more people go to the beauty parlor than to Confession. Many plan for decades for the few years of their retirement but give much less consideration to the state of their soul and to eternity following retirement. Human beings are naturally trapped in the visible and the superficial.
Jesus also warned the Jewish religious leaders that they were severely self-deceived. They honestly, but mistakenly, thought they would not have murdered the prophets of the past (Mt 23:30ff). We too think we would never have condoned slavery, joined in unjust wars, accepted institutional racism, or silently acquiesced to concentration camps, if we had lived at those times. But the Lord may be saying to us today that we likewise are self-deceived. Self-deception is a trap which can lead to our damnation.
The scribes and the Pharisees are not alone in their sinful loss of contact with reality. All humanity is trapped. Who can save us? Jesus has already saved us. Give your life totally to Him and accept His salvation. Thank and worship Jesus forever. Tell others about the only Savior (see Acts 4:12).
Prayer: Jesus, You are our only Hope and the only Hope we need.
Promise: "May He Who is the Lord of peace give you continued peace in every possible way. The Lord be with you all." —2 Thes 3:16
Praise: St. Louis worked hard at being a model Christian king. He was prominent in almsgiving as well as founding hospitals for the poor.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004