08/29/2021 – Be faithful in the little things God rewards the good that you do in secret
I remember some years ago I read a book called “People of the Lie” by M. Scott Peck. It was a very interesting read. The book explained well how some people who are living a lie, do all they can to appear good before others. They can go to Mass, be on Parish Councils, be on the board of charities, set up charities, etc., and people perceive them as being good. God sees the true person. He sees the heart. People are easy to deceive but we will never deceive God. It reminded me of what someone once said, that when we die we will be surprised by who is in Heaven, and who is not there. As our psalm today says: “The just will live in the presence of the Lord,” not those who appear just. In our First Reading today, from the Book of Deuteronomy, the people are about to finally enter the Promised Land, after 430 years of slavery, and then 40 years of purification in the desert. Moses asks them to keep God’s laws and customs, and to not add anything or take away anything from them. He assures them that if they do this things will go well, they will prosper, and other nations will observe their wisdom and understanding. In our Gospel today however we see that the Pharisees have indeed done what Moses warned not to do. They have created their own laws and customs.The Pharisees were one of the four major Jewish sects at the time of Jesus. They were the largest and most influential one. Others you may recall were the Saduccees, Essiens, and the Zealots. The Pharisees took some of the Temple customs, like purification rituals before you entered the Temple, and they applied them to everyday life. They had turned the law inside out making it a matter of observing certain external actions. They tackle Jesus in the Gospel today about His disciples not washing their hands before they ate. Their obsessions with outer observances blinded them to the incredible good that was taking place in front of their eyes. As St James in our Second Reading today says: “Pure, unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.” This is why Jesus refers to them as hypocrites. He explains that mere external observance does not make them clean, it’s what happens inside of us that is important, and that evil and sin originates inside of the person. Jesus adds: “This people honours me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me. The worship they offer me is worthless, the doctrines they teach are only human regulations. “Today presents a good opportunity for us to examine ourselves and see how we are really doing. Are we humbly living out our faith? Does it penetrate the inner core of my being, or is it simply an external matter? Am I just paying lip service like the Pharisees?
God bless you,
We have now Less than 2 weeks to wait for the mighty MEN FOR CHRIST Conference, which will be live on Radio Maria on Saturday, September 11th, from 2pm. We have great speakers lined up including Devin Schadt (Founder of the Fathers of St Joseph), Dr Patrick Kenny (Dublin Institute of Technology), Msgr Steve Rosetti (Exorcist), and Luke McCann (The Narrow Path Man). Did you know that Radio Maria is also available on your Television Set (Channel 210 if you have Saorview)? Please spread the word.