by Sr. Juliemarie Mcdonald, SND on 11/01/2017

in Ordinary Time

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)–Cycle A
November 2, 2017

“All their works are performed to be seen…”
(Matthew 23:5a)


Imagine, if you would, cameras and a Power Point program available in Jesus’ name.
Let your imagine run wild! See a Pharisee with a camera in his hand as he goes about his daily life.

As he dresses for the day, he widens his phylacteries and lengthens his tassels.
Smile. 1, 2, 3, click. Selfie #1
Off he goes to the market place where he poses with an admirer, who calls him Rabbi.
Smile. 1, 2, 3, click. Selfie #2
Next on his agenda was–the synagogue. Whoa! He is honored with a front seat. You guessed it!
Smile. 1, 2, 3, click. Selfie #3

As he makes his way back home, he thinks to himself, “Wait until my friends and family see this week’s showing of my Power Point! I really made a ‘flash’ of myself.”

Unknowingly, his wife had invited Jesus to their family banquet. After the Power Point showing, Jesus said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12) Needless to say, the guests and family were horrified. His wife said under her breath, “Where did he learn his manners?”

Jesus, however, was just beginning his harangue. “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.” (Matthew 23:13)

Now I imagine Jesus was never a guest in that house again. What do you imagine?

For Reflection and Sharing:

  1. If you find yourself tolerating legalism, who do you do this?
  2. How do you know if you are drifting into the legalism of the Pharisees?
  3. How do you define legalism?
  4. It seems Jesus deliberately harangues the in an unmannerly way. Why would he do that?
  5. Should we imitate Jesus in this way? Why or why not?
  6. How will you personally overcome living in a legalist way?

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