Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Appearance rules the world

For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearance, as though they were realities and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are. - Niccolo Machiavelli: (1469 – 1527: was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist and writer of the Renaissance period.

Gospel text: (MT 23:23-26)
Jesus said:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier things of the law:
judgment and mercy and fidelity.
But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,
but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,
so that the outside also may be clean."

It's so tempting to pick and choose what we prefer to believe or follow. It is easy to be "religious" like the scribes and Pharisees, focusing on the external things of practice, without growing in the interior transformation that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus.

The more we experience his love for us - messy as we are - the more attracted we are to him. And, the more attracted we are to him the more we will hear his word in ways that draw us closer to him, in affection. Affection for our Lord frees our hearts from the patterns, habits, addictions which hold us enslaved and keep us from being free.

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