Monday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Rose of Lima—(1856-+1617) Virgin and Penitent, Patron Saint of Embroiders, Gardeners, Florists, and Latin America
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 8b-10, Psalm 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9, & Matthew 23:13-22
The Gospel narrative of Saint Matthew speaks of those living a holy life and those who pretend to live spiritually. We learn from the reading that the Pharisees are those who say the right things according to God's Word, but they fail to act in accordance with it.
Our Lord has some very harsh criticism for the scribes and Pharisees because they use clever arguments to negate the obligation of an oath. He encourages His witnesses on this occasion to be willing to swear to what they know to be the truth when it is in question. Truth is a great good, and Jesus wants His listeners to uphold it and to be ready to swear to it when necessary. He tells them that God will always uphold the truth.
Jesus has the same message for us today. He wants us to seek the truth, sustain it, and be willing to swear to it when necessary. Sometimes we regard swearing as wrong, even sinful. A false pledge is exceedingly corrupt, and God calls upon us to be truthful at all times. He bids us to take oaths very seriously and regard them as a solemn duty that is necessary to support the truth. When we take an oath, we fulfill a very solemn responsibility under those circumstances, and God gives willing witness to the truth to which we testify.
For many of us, Jesus' teaching is not reflected upon easily. It is not easy to see the obstinacy and deviousness of the scribes and the Pharisees. However, it helps us remember the words of our Lord as they pertain to the pursuit of truth.
Question of the Day: Will you profess that Jesus is the way, the "truth," and the life to others?
Prayer: "My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me."