Jesus said to the crowds and to his
disciples: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You
lock the Kingdom of Heaven before human beings. You
do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance
to those trying to enter. "Woe to you, scribes and
Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to
make one convert, and when that happens you make
him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.
"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ´If one
swears by the Temple, it means nothing, but if
one swears by the gold of the Temple, one is
obligated.´ Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or
the Temple that made the gold sacred? And you
say, ´If one swears by the altar, it means nothing,
but if one swears by the gift on the
altar, one is obligated.´ You blind ones, which is greater,
the gift, or the altar that makes the gift
sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by
it and all that is upon it; one who swears
by the Temple swears by it and by him
who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears
by the throne of God and by him who
is seated on it."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to
you again in prayer. Even though I cannot see
you, I know through faith that you are present in
my life. I hope in your promise to be
with me. I love you, and I know you love
me. Accept this prayer as a token of my
Petition: Lord, help me to be a person
of great integrity – the same inside and out.
No Hypocrites Need Apply: The scribes and Pharisees lacked
the authenticity and rectitude of conscience needed to please
God. We need to let our behavior, our word and
our conscience be in harmony and open before God.
Conscience is that secret sanctuary where we are alone
with God and we hear the voice of the Holy
Spirit speak to us in the depths of our
heart. To violate that conscience, that is, to go against
what we know to be true, is to deny
ourselves what is most important to our salvation. A
good conscience is the greatest good thing we can possess
in this life. It gives us peace, serenity and
an assurance of our perseverance in good.
2. Misleading Others Has
a Price: Christ is very harsh on those who
lead others astray, especially those who have a responsibility
to teach and guide others in the way of salvation.
It is a great sin to give scandal and
to lead others away from the path of truth. There
are many examples of this: There are those entrusted
to teach in the name of the Church but
substitute their personal opinions, and those who give a testimony
of disordered lifestyles, especially to the young and impressionable.
The salvation of all of us is linked together;
we need to build each other up and help
each other on the way to Christ. Others have a
right to our good example and to our speaking
3. No Swearing Here! Jesus warns against idle words,
exaggerations and swearing in the name of God or by
his altar. He wants us to be sincere in
all we say and do, so that the integrity of
our lives may be apparent to all who see
us. If we live with a clear conscience and act
before God in all things, we can then simply
give our word and have it mean all we
have inside us. What a wonderful thing it is to
deal with people who are simple and transparent, who
can be taken at face value, because to be devious
or calculating never occurs to them, or to be
in any way false or insincere.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, give me the grace of real sincerity
of heart in dealing with you and with others. Teach
me to give my word and mean it with
all my heart.
Resolution: I will review my
examination of conscience to make sure I am going
deep enough to know what God wants of me.