Prayer– O Jesus, cleanse me so you cannot condemn me.
Imagination: (Imagine Jesus at table with the Pharisees and lawyers.)
Jesus is familiar with the Pharisees’ teaching. They are confused. They put the wrong obligations first, and cause many religious problems. Jesus must clear away all this confusion.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Woe to you, Pharisees because you tithe on mint and rue and every herb, yet overlook the justice and love of God. You should do these things, but not overlook the other.
Woe to you Pharisees. You love the best seats at the synagogue and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like hidden tombs over which men walk unaware.
In reply, a lawyer said, “Teacher, in speaking this way, you insult us, too”. Jesus answered, “Woe to you lawyers, also! You lay impossible burdens on men but will not lift a finger to lighten them.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Mint, rue, and herbs were so small that they should have been overlooked. Yet, they are the focus of religious activity.
- Justice to others and love for God are the important issues. These should take center stage.
- The Pharisees want to be recognized as holy and be acclaimed by others.
- However, their hearts are far from God. It is all show!
- People just trample such teaching under their feet and religion comes into disrepute.
- Many Pharisees enjoy burdening the consciences of others.
- Jesus comes to remove burdens so we can live like God’s children. This is freedom.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, loving you with all my heart – that is my goal.
- Jesus, give me a just and forgiving heart.
- Lord, I will hide my piety from the eyes of others and even from my own eyes.
- O Jesus, you do not burden me. Your laws set me free.
- Jesus, I will lift burdens from others, and help them to gain eternal life.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
- I will be just to everyone I meet today.
- I will humble myself in my own eyes.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
You overlook justice and the love of God.