THEME: Clean the inside of the cup first, so that the outside may become clean.
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
HOMILY FOR TUESDAY AUGUST 23 2022
Memorial of Saint Rose of Lima
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
2 Thes 2:1-3,14-17
*FROM OUR FIRST READING*
There is a good example of Saint Paul’s prayer for his churches in today’s first reading. Writing to the church in the Greek city of Thessalonica, Paul prays, ‘May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father… comfort you and strengthen you in everything good you do or say’. It is a striking prayer and one worth reflecting upon. Paul acknowledges God the Father and the risen Lord as the ultimate source of all that is good in our words and actions. God alone is completely good, but, with the Lord’s help, God’s goodness can be reflected to some degree in everything we say and do. It is through the Lord’s strengthening presence to us that something of his goodness can take flesh in our own lives.
*FROM OUR GOSPEL READING*
Jesus does not condemn the scribes and Pharisees for tithing but for putting importance on the wrong thing which is external details of the law like: cleaning the outside of the cup and dish and others because this is seen. Their lack of faith, critical thoughts, lack of mercy, greed and self-indulgence are not seen, so they do not give them importance. That is why Jesus calls them hypocrites because they neglect the more important matters of religion such as justice, mercy, fidelity and the love of God. They were very attentive to minute matters of little importance like paying tithes of mint and dill and cummin, but they neglect to care for the needy and the weak. They put unnecessary burdens on others while neglecting to show charity especially to the weak and the poor.
*WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM THE READINGS OF TODAY?*
Dear friends, our Lord in todays Gospel reading told His people that in order for us to truly love and serve the Lord, we have to have that proper understanding of His truth and love, and obey His Law wholeheartedly instead of just obeying blindly or paying lip service or only seeking for external application or holding up appearances only. Each one of us must live our lives with faith and practice our faith with genuine dedication and commitment, at every available opportunities and at every moments, or else we may end up causing scandal on the Lord and His Church, and we may have to be responsible for making people to be more distant from God just as the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done.
Drear brethren, let us all instead strive to become ever closer to the Lord and to His salvation, and may St. Rose of Lima whom the Memorial we celebrate today intercede for us all, helping us sinners to come ever closer to God. May God bless us all.
Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
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