FR. GERALD MUSA HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR II.
THEME: JESUS TALKS TOUGH.
BY: FR GERALD M. MUSA.
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 12 2022
Jesus was brutally frank with the scribes and Pharisees because of their hardness of heart, pathological hypocrisy, and compulsive legalism. The Pharisees followed the law of tithing to the letter by offering a tithe (10%) of everything they acquired including their income, crops, herbs, mint (an aromatic plant), rue (strong-scented herb) (cf. Luke 11:42). Jesus was not in any way condemning the offering of tithe, but challenging them to do it not merely for the sake of the law, but with freewill and a generous heart. Legalism is dangerous for many reasons. It makes religion more of a burden than an affectionate relationship with God; it pays little attention to love and compassion which are the core elements of religion; a compulsive legalist tends to have a false sense of righteousness and “-‘Zentitlement. Legalism was among the first major problems that erupted in the early Church when “…Some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts of the Apostles 15:1). A German theologian wisely instructed, “In essentials, let there be unity; in non-essentials, let there be liberty; and in all things, let there be charity.” Are we so legalistic that we forget the essence and spirit of the law?