August 26, 2020

2020 Aug 26 Wed: 

Mt 23: 27-32

‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, “If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.” Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Reflecting the heart of God

The heart of St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises is Jesus, whose message and mission lead us to the heart of God.  Today’s reading is a stark reminder to the Pharisees-echoing down through the ages to us-of how far we have gone astray.  In his righteous anger, can we not hear the painful cry of Jesus boldly and blatantly exposing hypocrisy, concern only for appearance and ego?  Jesus sees hearts, knows our inner selves and rightfully speaks harsh truths.  His words are meant to shake us out of our complacency, self-righteousness and spiritual blindness.  Jesus speaks out of love and a profound desire to teach us how to love, and how to take a deeper look at our true selves so that we may enter and live from the very mind and heart of God.  The question is, are we open to the truth and challenge his words present, and are we listening and responding to the wailing of his compassionate heart?

When I hear Jesus cry out, “Woe to you…”, what hypocrisies within me do I honestly need to take a deeper look at? 

How might my thoughts, words and actions more deeply reflect the mind and heart of God?

Mary McKeon is a retreat master and spiritual director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, in Barrington, IL.   

Prayer

“Your Heart Today”

Where there is fear I can allay,
Where there is pain I can heal,
Where there are wounds I can bind,
And hunger I can fill:
Lord, grant me the courage,
Lord, grant me the strength,
Grant me compassion,
That I may be Your heart today.

Where there is hate I can confront,
Where there are yokes I can release,
Where there are captives I can free
And anger I can appease:
Lord, grant me the courage,
Lord, grant me the strength,
Grant me the compassion,
That I may be Your heart today.

When comes the day I dread
To see our broken world,
Protect me from myself grown cold
That Your people I may behold.
And when I’ve done all that I could,
Yet there are hearts I cannot move,    
Lord, give me hope,
That I may be Your heart today.

Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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August 26, 2020

2020 Aug 26 Wed: 

Mt 23: 27-32

‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, “If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.” Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Reflecting the heart of God

The heart of St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises is Jesus, whose message and mission lead us to the heart of God.  Today’s reading is a stark reminder to the Pharisees-echoing down through the ages to us-of how far we have gone astray.  In his righteous anger, can we not hear the painful cry of Jesus boldly and blatantly exposing hypocrisy, concern only for appearance and ego?  Jesus sees hearts, knows our inner selves and rightfully speaks harsh truths.  His words are meant to shake us out of our complacency, self-righteousness and spiritual blindness.  Jesus speaks out of love and a profound desire to teach us how to love, and how to take a deeper look at our true selves so that we may enter and live from the very mind and heart of God.  The question is, are we open to the truth and challenge his words present, and are we listening and responding to the wailing of his compassionate heart?

When I hear Jesus cry out, “Woe to you…”, what hypocrisies within me do I honestly need to take a deeper look at? 

How might my thoughts, words and actions more deeply reflect the mind and heart of God?

Mary McKeon is a retreat master and spiritual director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, in Barrington, IL.   

Prayer

“Your Heart Today”

Where there is fear I can allay,
Where there is pain I can heal,
Where there are wounds I can bind,
And hunger I can fill:
Lord, grant me the courage,
Lord, grant me the strength,
Grant me compassion,
That I may be Your heart today.

Where there is hate I can confront,
Where there are yokes I can release,
Where there are captives I can free
And anger I can appease:
Lord, grant me the courage,
Lord, grant me the strength,
Grant me the compassion,
That I may be Your heart today.

When comes the day I dread
To see our broken world,
Protect me from myself grown cold
That Your people I may behold.
And when I’ve done all that I could,
Yet there are hearts I cannot move,    
Lord, give me hope,
That I may be Your heart today.

Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ


Please share the Good Word with your friends!