Faith Daily | 24 August 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p572
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
until they find their rest in you:
teach us to offer ourselves to your service,
that here we may have your peace,
and in the world to come may see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 23: 23-26
23 ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practised without neglecting the others. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!
25 ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Allan Bell
Mathew Verse 23 sees Jesus warning the Scribes and Pharisees of the great anguish and distress (woe) that will befall them for not practising what they preach. This passage should be taken by all as a warning about hypocrisy.
In verse 23 he calls them hypocrites for tithing spices while neglecting justice, mercy and faith. It is too easy to focus on the small things that seem to matter and which are easy to control while the larger, more important and often more difficult matters of life are neglected or postponed. Jesus calls us to put in perspective what we do and to ensure we practise justice, mercy and faith in our daily lives and be alert to injustice in society. Justice, mercy, faith and love are at the heart of all that he teaches.
The next hypocrisy he calls the Pharisees on is similar, that of appearing “clean” on “the outside” while having hearts full of “greed and self-indulgence”. Jesus asserts that there is a need to “First clean the inside of the cup”. Again, he calls them “blind” to what is right. Unfortunately, not all our thoughts and actions come from a pure heart but we as Christians are challenged first to have a pure heart and at all times to act with the love that comes from it. This message is simply summed up for me in the beatitude “Blessed are the pure in heart…” (Mathew 5:8).
FINAL PRAYER: – A Prayer from Apollo 8 for Universal Justice
Give us, O God, the vision which can see Your love in the world in spite of human failure.
Give us the faith to trust Your goodness in spite of our ignorance and weakness. Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts.
And show us what each one of us can do to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace. Amen. - Frank Borman