MONDAY HOMILY OF THE 21ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE I
THEME: JESUS AND PHARISEES….. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men”
BY: Fr. Marc VAILLOT
Homily for Monday August 23 2021
Today, once again, the Gospel shows how the goodness of God, who watches over our happiness, is poured out. It tells us clearly what the sources are: truth, goodness, righteousness, justice, love… and all the virtues. It also warns us so as not to fall into the traps – excesses, lusts, deceptions, in a word, sins – that would prevent us from attaining such happiness.
Jesus uses His divine authority to show us clearly the absolute character of the good, which we must pursue, and the evil, which we must avoid at all costs. Hence, His lively and gentle exhortation to respect the magna charta of the Christian life: the Beatitudes, paths that give access to Happiness. In parallel, we find the threatening tone used in today’s Gospel: the Curses of those destructive acts that must always be avoided. It is the same Sacred Heart, the same Love that dictates the Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:1 ff) and the Curses.
It is very important to understand that one is as important as the other for those who want to be saved: “Blessed” are the poor; the hearts that thirst for justice; the merciful souls… “Woe to you”… when you scandalize others; when you teach but do not put it into practice; when you corrupt the sound doctrine; when you lead others astray from the right path…
Jesus adds firmly: the greater your responsibility before others, the stronger will be the curse that will fall upon you. Our Lord, in this passage, is addressing the notables: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (Mt 23:13 ff).
Let us apply this divine teaching to our lives. Our good and our bad actions always have a double impact: one, which falls on ourselves, because each action improves or devastates us; the other, considering our situation as adults, parents, teachers, responsible in any aspect, each of our actions can have repercussions, good or bad, unsuspected: “life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions” (Francis).
And we will have to give an account of it to the love of God!
Fr. Marc VAILLOT