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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Monday of the 21st Week in the Ordinary Time Download This Homily

August 26, 2019

Monday of the 21st Week in the Ordinary Time


2 Thes 1: 1-5. 11-12

Psalm 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a, 9bc

Mt 23: 13-22

 

Gospel Reading

 

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.


"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated. ' Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, 'If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.' You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it."

 

Reflection


Woe to You

 

On 20 August 2013, while out on a morning walk, Dr. Narendra Dabholkar was shot at by two unidentified gunmen near Omkareshwar temple, Pune. After working as a doctor for 12 years, Dabholkar became a social worker in the 1980s. He became involved with movements for social justice. In 1989, he set up the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (Society for the Eradication of Superstitions) to help eradicate superstition. His State-wide movement targeted god men and superstitious practices. In recent years, he worked towards getting an anti-superstition Bill passed by the Maharashtra Assembly. A day after he was killed in Pune, the state government passed the anti superstition bill.

Daily we see the abuse of authority and power in religion, in government and  in business enterprises leading to all kinds of greed and corruption which undermines the very fabric of the society. Positions of service are degenerated into instruments of personal gain, often at the expense of the weakest and the most needy. Countries which long ago should have become rich and prosperous and provided with a high quality of life for their people are bankrupt, in every sense of the word, while a small group of elite live lives of shameless luxury.


The Church, too, can find itself over-concerned with matters of money at the expense of its pastoral mission. A diocese, a parish, a bishop or priest who is rich in a world of poverty is a major stumbling block to the  Gospel of Christ.


 Jesus who is always calm and loving becomes angry at these kinds of exploitation and unjust situations. He criticizes the doctors of the Law and the Pharisees, calling them hypocrites and rebuking them. In their enslavement to the law the Pharisees also found a political gain. They could demand that others also enslave themselves to the law. But only they had the right to interpret it  much to their gains. The law therefore became a tool for political and economic oppression. Jesus wanted to liberate everyone from their enslavement to the law—from all law. He did not demand, of course, to abandon the law. It was the attitude toward the law that had to be changed. The law which had been man’s master had to be made his servant. The human person must take responsibility for his servant, the law, and he must use the law to serve the needs of mankind. This is quite different from lawlessness or licentiousness or permissiveness. The law stands and its prescriptions are still there for all to obey. But always for the good of the men and women who are to obey them

 

Fr. James ML CMI

Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.