25 Aug Tue - 21st Week in Ordinary Time

8/25/2020 3:25:09 PM
2 Thess. 2:1-3,14-17/ Ps. 95:1-,11-13 /Mt. 23:23-26 (Ps Wk I)

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Jesus continues his attacks on the Pharisees and Scribes. We should see this as a criticism of the legalistic mind. Not all the Pharisees and Scribes were hypocrites, and we can find their like in our own Christian communities, and Matthew is likely thinking of Christian Pharisees rather than those who criticized Jesus.

In today's reading, Jesus makes two points. First, he accuses Pharisees of being scrupulous about the tiniest regulations while being neglectful of much more important issues such as judgement, compassion and faithfulness to God's will. They strain out tiny insects (which were regarded as 'unclean') from their drinking water but then "swallow the camel", that is, ignore the essential things like loving all our brothers and sisters, practising forgiveness and taking care of the poor and needy.

In the second part, he criticizes them for focusing only on the externals - their image and what people could see - so that they could be admired for their observance of the Law. But they are like whitewashed tombs, lovely on the outside but inside are full of stench and corruption.

There is no real similarity between what appears on the outside and what they are inside. How many of us have perfect integrity? Do people see what is going on inside of us?

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will be called the children of God! 
       

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8月25日( 二 )   常年期第二十一週

得撒洛尼後書 2:1-3,14-17
聖詠 96[95]:10,11-12,12-13
瑪竇福音 23:23-26

我們都是生活在特定的歷史文化背景中的有限個體。很多時候,我們的言行已經不自覺地處於嚴重的失衡狀態。信仰生活也是如此。願我們在福音的光照下,能矯正我們的偏見,度正直均衡的信仰生活。

或許,我們會很容易認同今天福音對經師和法利塞人的批評,好像也可以很輕鬆的同耶穌站在一起,來指出經師和法利塞人言行的荒謬。可是,如果我們身臨其境的觀摩,就不難發現,經師和法利塞人的行事邏輯。大概這就是當局者迷,旁觀者清吧!我相信教會今天為我們安排這篇福音,絕不是讓我們助長自我良好的優越感,而是提醒我們要反省自己的信仰生活。對於所提到的各種偏差行為,我們有則改之,無則加勉!

就像聖保祿宗徒所提醒的,我們不要辜負基督藉著福音所帶給我們的光照和指引。

主,教我們在日常生活中,活出健康活潑的信仰吧!


DAILY READINGS

PRAYING WITH THE CHURCH
Pope Francis urges reconciliation in message to Church in China
HOW TO PRAY WITH SHALOM
(theology.org.hk)

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