Wednesday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Joseph Calasanz—Priest (1557-+1648) Patron Saint of Roman Catholic Schools
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, Psalm 139:7-8, 9-10, 11-12, & Matthew 23:27-32
We listen to Jesus speaking to the scribes and Pharisees in today's Gospel message. He says to them, "…you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth." Here Jesus challenges the hypocrisy of some religious leaders, who have robbed religion of its meaning by focusing only on laws and appearances. We can tell that He's angry because their false holiness keeps people from deeper faith and causes others to turn away, making them cynical about religion. Jesus reminds us that our holiness has to be better than the mere "externals" of devotion in so many ways. It's about a change of heart, an interior conversion, and placing our trust completely in Him. He is "heart-sick" that these people whom He loved had hardened their hearts so much against His message.
About who are we heart-sick for today? A question not of whom we may be judgmental toward, but of whom we love so much that we deeply desire that they might come to know the Lord. He can heal us collectively so that those people are in our lives to love today and every day—faithfully. To know that God loves them, they need to see and believe an undiscriminating, unselfish love is within each of us. They need to experience our love, as unconditional and healing, so they might be able to believe in God's love without strings and full of compassion.
Question of the Day: Will you place your unconditional trust in Jesus?
Prayer: "God, You adorned Saint Joseph Calasanz, Your priest, with excelling love and patience so that he might labor for the formation of Christian youth. Grant that as we honor this teacher of wisdom, we may follow his example in working for truth. Amen." (Lives of the Saints, Illustrated)