Are there times you may act like a bit of a hypocrite. Working at camp this summer, I had a really funny experience with one of the younger girls. She was trying to tell another younger boy that it was way too hot to be wearing a sweater, completely serious, while wearing her own long sleeved pink hoodie. Before even addressing the situation, it was impossible not to laugh. I posedthe question to her, 'why are you trying to convince him not to wear a sweater when you are wearing one', and this blew her away. She tried to defend her point with comments like 'it's different for me', but all the while I was laughing. I told her that is what we call a clear example of being a hypocrite. Thinking of course this example, we too can get caught up in hypocracy, choosing to ridicule and judge others about their own faith journeys when we should be looking at areas that we could personally improve. God calls us to love and be the examples of His love, starting with working on ourselves. Have you been a hypocrite lately?
Today's Gospel states:'"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, `If any one swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? And you say, `If any one swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.' You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; and he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it; and he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it' (MATTHEW 23:13-22).
Today's reading talks about how we must follow God's will through and through, not being hypocritical in our mindset in any way. Jesus is telling us here that we must put God at the center, moving beyond judgement and persuading thoughts we're given from the devil. If love is at the center, it will become impossible to be people who judge. Think about times lately where you may have had a passing thought or side comment that passes judgement on someone else. Take some time to ask God to help you work on your own faith journey and to do nothing but love those around you, casting away any thoughts of hypocracy.
Today we pray:
Thank You for helping me along my journey towards finding You. Help me to only show love towards my neighbour and help me to cast away any actions and thoughts that cause me to be a hypocrite in faith.
I pray in Your most holy name, Amen.