Wednesday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Wednesday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time

August 28, 2019

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Memorial of St. Augustine

First Thessalonians 2:9-13

Psalm 139

Matthew 23:27-32

The character defect that Jesus is condemning (yet again) in today’s Gospel is hypocrisy.  The definition of such conduct is “a feeling to be what one is not.”  If we were honest most of us will have to admit that we may have been hypocritical at some point in our lives.  One only has to look at the three images we project ourselves to be aware that this is true.  The images I speak of are as God knows us, with the way our neighbors see us and what we think of ourselves.

God’s image of us is without any deceit.  He saw us being formed in our mother’s womb,” has been with us every single moment of our lives and knows every thought, word and action of our existence.  We know ourselves pretty well.  But oftentimes we strut like actors on a stage playing the lead role in a drama.  On the other hand, through our own exaggerations, we try to give our neighbors the look of a completely different person than who we truly are. 

Friends, did you notice how critical Jesus is of hypocrisy displayed by the scribe s and Pharisees?  He compares such people with the “whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.”  What Jesus objects to is living a lie day after day which is what such a person is doing. What Jesus wants for us is to grow into the personality that is the image that He created for us to be.   

The remedy for hypocrisy is asking forgiveness of God and our neighbors.  The nightly practice of the “Examination of Conscience”  definitely helps to make us aware of the traces of hypocrisy that may still lurk within our hearts and  how much we need God’s grace and help.

Finally, and most importantly, Jesus gave us the ”Sacrament of Reconciliation.”  The sacrament of forgiveness will make us conscience of the ways we try to deceive our neighbors and ourselves.  It sure helps us to see the inconsistencies in the way we think of ourselves from the way the Lord sees us. 

Question of the Day:  Have you ever wondered if the unwillingness to admit ones faults and acknowledge them in confession is not one of the reasons why many fail to receive the sacrament of reconciliation any longer?

Prayer:  Lord, grant me each day a new fervor, fresh energy, and a more selfless love.  Root out whatever in me is not from You, so that You can grow ever more in me. 



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