FR. MIKE’S HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR II (1)










FR. MIKE’S HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR II.

THEME: BEWARE OF HYPOCRITES.

BY: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OCTOBER 14 2022

 

Lk 12:1-7

At that time, so many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. He began to speak, first to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven—that is, the hypocrisy—of the Pharisees.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.”

Jesus summarizes His criticisms against the scribes and Pharisees with this serious warning to His disciples: “Beware of the leaven—that is, the hypocrisy—of the Pharisees.”

The word ‘hypocrite’ comes from a Greek word which means ‘actor’. In olden times, the actors wear mask or costume in order to assume the personality of a particular character in a drama. The Pharisees, due to their hypocrisy, are essentially actors. They pretend to be someone else, totally different from their real self. This is because they give undue importance to the opinion of men at the expense of obedience to God. In short, they do everything for show, in order to enjoy the praise and adulation of the people. Definitely, this is borne out of pride and selfishness.

Jesus calls their hypocrisy as ‘leaven’ or ‘yeast’. The fermenting characteristic of yeast is seen by the Jews as a corrupting agent. That is why they only use unleavened bread for Passover. Hypocrisy is a corrupting agent. It can effectively deceive people, create confusion and division, and even influence others into becoming hypocrites themselves.

The Lord wants His disciples to be ‘leaven’, but good, wholesome ‘leaven’, who will inspire and lead people to genuine holiness. They are to be living witnesses of the Good News they proclaim. That is why they have to categorically shun the ‘leaven of the Pharisees’. He wants them to live a life of faith without masks, double-talk and lies.

One very important reason for avoiding hypocrisy and pretense is the fact that the truth will eventually be discovered, and everything will be revealed in the open: “Whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.”

With this declaration, Jesus comes up with another warning to His disciples: eventually, they will be known as His followers. When they proclaim the truth of the Gospel in public, they expose themselves to the scrutiny of people, and to the attacks of the enemies of the Kingdom. Truly, the proclamation of the Gospel is a risky and dangerous undertaking.

And so, at the outset, He makes them realize this and gives them encouragement: “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more.” Definitely, physical harm and death are not the worst thing to happen to anyone.

And so, He exhorts them: “Do not be afraid.” There is nothing to fear because He is in complete control of everything in this world: “Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.” But they should not be complacent and careless. This is because the enemy “the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour” (1Pet 5:8).

But then, afterwards, Jesus said, “Be afraid.” This is not because the enemy is more powerful than God. In fact, it is the enemy who lives in fear. He literally trembles in fear when the Holy Name of Jesus is pronounced. Rather, this exhortation is to remind them that the devil has no other mission than to deny us the glory of God’s children and bring us down with him to Hell. In short, we should be afraid that, with the deceit and allure of the devil, we may fall into his snare, and offend God and be separated from Him forever. Hence, we have to take utmost precaution and vigilance to protect our souls from the deception and attacks of the enemy.

Let us always take courage and inspiration from the lives of saints, and especially the martyrs. They valiantly proclaimed and lived the truth of the Gospel, and never feared pain and death, because they are assured of God’s protection and eternal reward in His kingdom.

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches




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