A reflection on this Sunday’s Gospel by Sr Kym Harris osb

Unclean hands or an unclean heart

A reflection on this Sunday’s Mass by Sr Kym Harris osb and downloaded from http://www.prayasyoucan.com.au

Have you noticed that Jesus is harsh, even savage with those who judge people according to how well they observe religious practices? In fact these people, those who lead children astray and those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit are the only groups that he attacks and condemns. In all four Gospels we see him confronting them in the most hostile language. They are called hypocrites, whitewashed tombs, blind guides. Note that is was these ‘religious people’ that worked for his downfall and manipulated his death.

Jesus attacked them vigorously because they were idolaters of the worst sort. Instead of using their religious practices to foster love of God and compassion for others, they used their practices for self-glorification and condemnation of people. “God” was simply the background light to show off their glory.

All who practice their faith, regularly and religiously, should take pause when we hear a Gospel like this Sunday’s. Our religious practices can do us so much good, that we can easily be tempted to think that we are good because of them. All our goodness comes from the grace of God. Our religious practices are like fragile vessels. We are to hold them gently not taking them too seriously. Then they will help us deepen our love of God and lead us into the ways of compassion. But if we hold them harshly, glorifying ourselves, they will break and be a curse upon us.

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