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Faith Daily | 13 October 2021


Almighty God,

in your wisdom you have so ordered our earthly life

that we must walk by faith and not by sight:

give such trust in your fatherly care

that in the face of all perplexities

we may give proof of our faith by the courage of our lives;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 11: 42-46

42 ‘But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practised, without neglecting the others. 43Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honour in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the market-places. 44Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it.’

45 One of the lawyers answered him, ‘Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.’ 46And he said, ‘Woe also to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them.

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Paul McLaughlin

It seems that Jesus’ every encounter with the Pharisees leads to frustration. This latest one has him being corrected on a point of law and Jesus responds quickly.

“Woe to you” is an expression as much of pity as of anger. The religious leaders have a doctrine bogged down in minutiae and nit-picking rules, and they fail to see the big picture issues of God’s love and justice for people.

Likewise the lawyers are deserving of Jesus’ rebuke, for they have ground down God’s commandments into so many rules that they overburden people rather than inspire them. Jesus is saying that the religious leaders mislead people. They lead them to Pharisaism not to God. This false doctrine is the reason Jesus likens them to “unmarked graves”, which were considered spiritually contaminating to anyone who walked upon them. Similarly people could be defiled by their false doctrine.

Jesus is teaching us that the essence of God is love. God’s love flows to us in so many ways and seeks to unburden us. Love of God and love of neighbour – are we willing to carry our neighbour’s burden?

FINAL PRAYER: “Together in Song 534” Luke Connaughton

Love is his word, love is his way,

feasting with friends, fasting alone,

living and dying, rising again,

love, only love, is his way.

Richer than gold is the love of my Lord:

better than splendour and wealth.

Love is his law, love is his word:

love of the Lord, Father and Word,

love of the Spirit, God ever one.

Love, only love, is his word.

Richer than gold is the love of my Lord:

better than splendour and wealth.

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