“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.
How often do our attractive outsides hide the broken parts inside? Like the scribes and Pharisees, we too are hypocrites, pointing out the shortcomings of others yet ignoring our own inadequacies. We want to appear beautiful on the outside even though inside we are flawed and sinful. Fear not! We have no need to remain in that tomb of evildoing. We can receive the forgiveness of Christ for our sinful thoughts and actions. We can be made whole again. Our gracious God gives us the opportunity to begin anew through the sacrament of Reconciliation. The strain of living two lives – one interior, the other exterior – is draining. The remedy is available to us, if we simply ask the Lord for his forgiveness.
—Kathy England is a Pastoral Associate at St. Francis Xavier Church in Cincinnati, OH.
Father forgive us for being hypocrites.
Give us humility to see how far from perfect we are
and how badly we need you if we are to live lives that glorify you.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!