HOMILY OF THURSDAY 10TH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME – YEAR B

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HOMILY OF THURSDAY 10TH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME – YEAR B

HOMILY THEME: INWARD RIGHTEOUSNESS

BY: Bishop Gerald M. Musa

A proverb says, “A show of piety is not true piety.” Likewise, a fair face may hide a foul heart. This explains why Jesus said to his disciples, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). Even though the Pharisees were custodians and teachers of the law, Jesus warned his disciples not to be like them. They focused on the external observances, concentrated so much on the letter of the law, and neglected the spirit and motives behind the law. Their righteousness was an outward, formal, and ceremonial display of righteousness, contrary to the righteousness that comes from the heart. They ignored more serious matters such as justice, truth, love, purity, and holiness of heart.

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Jesus challenged the Pharisees against the habit of hypocrisy, which he described as cleaning the outside of the cup while leaving the inside (the heart) filthy (Luke 11:39-40, 44). In another encounter, Jesus also rebuked 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 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, purity, and sacrifices be more sincere and inward?

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