Jesus said, "Woe to
you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed
tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are
full of dead men´s bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside
you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing. Woe to you,
scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of
the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and
you say, ´If we had lived in the days of
our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding
the prophets´ blood.´ Thus you bear witness against yourselves that
you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!"
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that
you are “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John
14:6). I humbly come before you today. I trust completely
in you, and therefore I want my life to be
an open book where you write the pages of my
Jesus, grant me a sincere and humble heart.
1. What You See Is Not
What You Get! One of the sternest reprimands Jesus gave
was against the hypocrisy of those charged with the grave
task of leading God’s people. They were called to transmit
the hope of God’s promise of deliverance: “I will be
your God and you shall be my people” (Jeremiah 24:7).
Yet their vain righteousness was nothing but self-indulgence that burdened
the flock of Israel to the point of despair. Instead
of helping the people of God to turn from sin
to a life of fidelity to God’s love, they preyed
upon the spiritual sensitivity of the people for their own
of Saints or Saints to the Guillotine? Human respect is
the “guillotine of saints.” It has a suicidal effect and
a deadly capacity to cut short the action of a
zealous heart. Human respect renders love of God and souls
sterile because it is nothing but pride disguised as fear,
doubt, or the sophism of not wanting to hurt others’
feelings. True charity, on the other hand, gives testimony to
the truth, regardless of the consequences this may bring –
even persecution or the sword (cf. Romans 8:35). Shunning human
respect may lead us to the “guillotine” of ridicule or
persecution, but then we are on our way to becoming
3. Like Father, Like
Son; Hypocrites All: The Pharisees’ ancestors killed the prophets for
chastising the people in God’s name. Now, Jesus ironically urges
the Pharisees to prove themselves worthy of their heritage. Jesus
separated himself from the religious leaders of the time. Unlike
the Pharisees and Temple priests, who had become like mercenaries
for the flock of Israel, Jesus was the Good Shepherd.
Jesus instituted a new priesthood, based on his own: that
of the Suffering Servant, the Paschal Lamb, the Messiah, the
Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He made all things
new and in truth set us free from sin.
Conversation with Christ: Oh Jesus,
I thank you with all my heart for redeeming me.
You let me hear your voice gently calling me. Strengthen
me in faith, and fill me with your love so
that I can one day join St Paul in saying,
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who
lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
Resolution: I will be an enemy of hypocrisy and insincerity
in my dealings with others today.