Wednesday 14th October Wednesday of week 28 of the year

Reflection: Luke 11:42-46


Why does Jesus single out the teachers and lawyers for some rather strong words of rebuke?  Jesus was angry with the religious leaders because they failed to listen to God’s word and they misled the people they were supposed to guide in the ways of justice and truth. The scribes devoted their lives to the study of the Law of God and regarded themselves as legal experts in it.  They divided the Ten Commandments and precepts into thousands of tiny rules and regulations. They were leading people to Pharisaism rather than to God.

Jesus used the example of tithing to show how far they had missed the mark. God had commanded a tithe of the first fruits of one’s labor as an expression of thanksgiving and honor for his providential care for his people (Deut. 14:22; Lev. 27:30).  The scribes, however, went to extreme lengths to tithe on insignificant things (such as tiny plants) with great mathematical accuracy.  They were very attentive to minute matters of little importance, but they neglected to care for the needy and the weak which was of greater importance.  Jesus admonished them because their hearts were not right.  They were filled with pride and contempt for others. They put unnecessary burdens on others while neglecting to show charity, especially to the weak and the poor.  They meticulously went through the correct motions of conventional religion while forgetting the realities.

What was the point of Jesus’ lesson? The essence of God’s commandments is love — love of God and love of neighbor. Do you allow the love of God to transform your mind and heart? And are you willing to carry your neighbor’s burden? God is love and everything he does flows from his love for us.Love is sacrificial; it both embraces and lifts the burdens of others. Let us then concentrate on the greatest commandment which is love rather than make lives unbearable for those around us in the name of being religious and principled.

PRAYER: Lord, inflame my heart with your love that I may always pursue what matters most — love of God and love of neighbor.  Give me wisdom and courage to act with justice, kindness, and mercy in all that I do and say. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2063:  The lord prescribed love towards God and taught justice towards neighbour, so that man would be neither unjust, nor unworthy of God. Thus, through the Decalogue (Ten Commandments), God prepared man to become his friend and to live in harmony with his neighbor…. the words of the Decalogue remain likewise for us Christians.

HIDE A TREASURE: “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these”. Mark 12:31 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Rom 2:1-11; Ps 62: 2-3, 6-9; Lk 11:42-46


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