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For the first reading today we begin 2 Thessalonians. St. Paul compliments the people for their “endurance and faith in all your persecutions and the afflictions you endure.” Wouldn’t it be great if people could say that of us?

In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 23, Jesus has some harsh words for the scribes and Pharisees, calling them hypocrites (among other choice things.) Here is the definition of the word from dictionary.com:

1.a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2.a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

I feel pretty confident in saying that none of us would like to think that those definitions fit us. But then we have to face reality. I believe there is at least a modicum of hypocrisy in all of us. Many will use that as an excuse not to go to church. “Oh, I won’t go to that church. It’s full of hypocrites!” I love how my old friend Zig Ziglar used to respond to that. He would say, “Don’t let that stop you! There’s always room for one more!”

Father, rid us of our hypocrisy. May the person we profess to be, be the person that we are. Amen.

Today’s Readings


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