"To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." - from Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
Gospel Text: (LK 11:47-54)
The Lord said:
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.
We hear Jesus challenge us to strive to be authentic in our lives—to live what we believe, to operate out of what we profess. The tension ever present in our lives between our external observance and our inner life needs to be kept in balance and harmony. Why does this matter? We find a clue in v.52: “Woe to you scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” No doubt, we would abhor the very idea of stopping anyone from coming to Jesus, to be a barrier, an obstacle. Yet, the truth of the matter is that our actions can and do inadvertently prevent others from coming to Jesus. A healthy inner life, helps us discover this reality and be led to repentance. Jesus may have an uncomfortable message for us at times just like the scribes and the Pharisees.
Perhaps he invites us to change something.
We need to recognize the truth; that we are fatally flawed—beloved sinners.