Posted by: livingscripture | June 6, 2015

Ninth Saturday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“In the course of his teaching Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets.  They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers.  They will receive a very severe condemnation.”         (Mark 12: 38-40)

How should we live this Wordtemple 2

 This passage is another evidence of the tensions that characterize the rapport of Jesus with the Scribes and Pharisees, the high-ranking class of the religious and social life of Jerusalem.  Without mincing words, the Rabbi of Nazareth openly condemns the falseness and duplicity of these people who flaunt their apparent holiness and wealth, but are very far from living coherently the Word, reflected on and prayed.

The evangelist strongly expresses His denouncement of the tremendous contrast between occupying time in lengthy prayers while at the same time, managing their affairs, cheating the weakest and neediest of the people, the widows of those times.

A very strong expression is used to highlight the contrast that is in strict opposition, “they devour the houses of the widows”.  That means they force the poor women to sell their homes at a ridiculous price and at the same time they act like ‘people of the Church’ who spend a lot of time in prayer.  However, we well know that prayer without the confirmation of works of charity is a dead thing.

Here the text tells us that egoists will meet a condemnation greater than that of other sinners.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on these words and be ever more convinced that prayer and good works and honesty cannot be separated.

Lord, grant me the courage to open my eyes truthfully on my daily life. Do not allow my lack of desire to interest myself in the poor and to deprive myself of something that is a necessity for them, make insensitive, and a despicable object of condemnation, the time I dedicate to prayer.

 The Voice of St. John Paul II

The true and upright goal of political activity is the material and spiritual well-being of society so that rights and duties are respected and guarded.

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