FR. GERALD MUSA HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 21ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II (1)







FR. GERALD MUSA HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 21ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II

THEME: INWARD RIGHTEOUSNESS

BY: FR GERALD M. MUSA

HOMILY FOR TUESDAY AUGUST 22 2022

 

A traditional proverb instructs, “Better to be known as a sinner than a hypocrite.” Jesus challenged the scribes and Pharisees who neglected matters of law, justice, faith, and mercy and concentrated on trivial matters of religion such as outward display of piety, which is hypocrisy. The Pharisees focused on the external observances and concentrated so much on the letter of the law, and neglected the spirit and motives behind the law. Their righteousness was an outward, external, formal, and ceremonial display of righteousness, which is contrary to the righteousness that comes from the heart. They ignored more serious matters such as justice, truth, love, purity, and holiness of heart. Jesus challenged the Pharisees against the habit of hypocrisy which he described as cleaning the outside of the cup and leaving the inside (the heart) filthy (Luke 11:39, 40, 44). In another encounter, Jesus also chided them for their pride. He narrated the story of a Pharisee who prayed boastfully in the presence of God saying, “God, I thank You that I am not like the other men–swindlers, evildoers, adulterers- or even like this tax collector” (Luke 18:11). Jesus wants his followers to avoid the trap of self-righteousness, self sufficiency, and pride of the Pharisees. Christ looks for inward righteousness that goes beyond that of the Pharisees. Can our righteousness, piety, and sacrifices be more sincere and inward?

MATTHEW 23:23-26

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