Tuesday, August 28, 2018

By Jesus

Our Gospel reading from Matthew reads:  “Jesus said: ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity.  But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.  Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.  Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean."

Jesus always seems to kick the bejeebers out of us.  Sort of makes sense because bejeebers means “by Jesus.”  He call us “blind” because we spend too much time focused on the particulars, on the rituals that we hold near and dear, but for Jesus, he likely would say, “So what?” or “Whatever.”  He’d say, “Forget the gnat; ignore the camel.    Get on with what’s important.  Tend to what is in your heart: feed the good; chuck the bad.”

The “inside of our cup” is supposed to be peace we only achieve when we rid ourselves of ashes of past disappointments, anger, and envy.   That blackens the inside, and it’s hard to clean.

But a shiny inside makes the outside smiles and laughter come.   That’s what makes our outside clean and attractive.

Open our eyes, by Jesus.

Deacon David Pierce

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