Gospel: Mt 23:13-22
But woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door to the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You, yourselves, do not enter it, nor do you allow others to do so. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour widows’ property; and as a show, you pray long prayers! Therefore, you shall receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel by sea and land to make a single convert; yet, once he is converted, you make him twice as fit for hell as yourselves! Woe to you, blind guides! You say: To swear by the temple is not binding; but, to swear by the gold of the temple is binding. Foolish men! Blind men! Which is of more worth: the gold in the temple, or the temple which makes the gold a sacred treasure? You say: To swear by the altar is not binding, but to swear by the offering on the altar is binding. How blind you are! Which is of more value: the offering on the altar, or the altar which makes the offering sacred? Whoever swears by the altar, is swearing by the altar and by everything on it. Whoever swears by the temple, is swearing by the temple, and by God, who dwells in the temple. Whoever swears by heaven, is swearing by the throne of God, and by him, who is seated on it.
Which is of more value: the offering on the altar, or the altar which makes the offering sacred? Before his conversion, St. Augustine, one of the Catholic Church’s greatest theologians, lived a worldly life, siring a child out of wedlock. He confessed that it was the incessant prayers of his mother Monica through the years that allowed grace to finally penetrate his heart and illumine his restless mind. Do we believe in the power of intercessory prayers, which rests not in our completion of our novenas or the sincerity of our hearts, although necessary, but on the mercy of God who chooses to intervene in our lives and save us?
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018