Our first reading today is from 1 Thessalonians. St. Paul talks about sharing the Gospel of God. We’ll talk more about his thoughts in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 23, we see Jesus giving some scathing remarks to the scribes and Pharisees. He begins a series of “woes” where He calls out these religious leaders, even to the point of calling them names. “Hypocrites,” “Blind guides,” “Blind Pharisee.” These don’t sound like very nice things to call someone, do they? Was Jesus being uncharitable? You make the call.
St. Paul talks about speech in his first letter to the Thessalonians. He talks about how they speak the Gospel of God (a phrase used multiple times) from a pure heart, and not using deception. “That is how we speak, not as trying to please men, but rather God, who judges our hearts.” It seems that these days this has become a matter of great controversy. How do we speak to please God, not men? Seems there are many differing theories about that today.
Some questions to ponder today: Is it pleasing to God to speak the truth, even at the expense of hurting someone’s feelings? Is it pleasing to God to tell others when they have strayed from the ways of God, even when they disagree and don’t want to hear it? These questions are vexing for so many today. Let us pray that we can seek the truth and proclaim it, even in the midst of a politically correct culture that does not want to hear it.
Father, we want only to be pleasing to you. Help us to speak the truth in love; not a message that waters down that truth, but the message that you have passed on to us in Your Word. Amen.