Today's first reading is the opening of St. Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians. He reminds them, "Our Gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction."
Today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 23 is an interesting one. Today we see a fiery side of Jesus. Jesus was never afraid to “call a spade a spade.” Even in a very public way. We see this as He addresses the crowds, calling out the scribes and Pharisees. “You hypocrites!” “Blind guides!” “Blind fools!” Now, I know that name calling is not a very nice thing to do. But sometimes the truth must be proclaimed in no uncertain terms. Today’s Gospel shows us what Jesus would do when confronted with those who practice hypocrisy in a very public way.
I'm sure none of us would like to think of ourselves as a hypocrite. Yet we are. Truth be told, someone who professes not to be a hypocrite is indeed one just for saying that. I hate to admit it, but I can be the biggest hypocrite of all. While preaching love and patience and all good virtues, I engage in behaviors that are far from my words. Pray for me, that I might put the well-earned title of Hypocrite behind me. And be assured of my prayers for you.
Father, forgive us for the times when we, too, practice hypocrisy. Help us to have our actions match up with our words, and that both may glorify you. Amen.
Today is the Feast of St. Augustine, one of the greatest minds and most prominent converts in history. St. Augustine, pray for us!