Monday of 21th Week of Ordinary C

Hypocrisy

After divorce, the husband came and took with him all his belongings. The little girl said to her mom, “Mom, why do you let dad go?” “He was bad,” mom replied.

To stop her questioning, mom gave her her favorite chocolate cookie. After unwrapped the cookie, her older brother ran over and broke the cookie on her hand and put it in his mouth. Empty her lung out, she cried. Mom calmed her down and asked her to forgive her brother because he was a bad boy. The little girl quickly turned to her mom and said, “Mom, how comes you didn't forgive dad when he was bad?” Mom was silent and then said, “Yes, I’m bad too.”

Teaching is difficult that teachers might be able to testify for it. Teaching with common sense might be a little more difficult. However, teaching with good modeling examples is the most difficulty in teaching.

Pharisees and Scribes are the ones who understand the laws and are able to explain the laws. So, they are able to understand as the ones who hold the key to enter heaven. This has two meanings: One was the Church during the first few decades of AD, anno Domini, the year of the Lord, many Jews wanted to join the Church, but the Pharisees and Scribes stopped them to enter. Second, the Church in general, there were some laws that the Pharisees and the Scribes implemented that people had difficulty to follow that they couldn’t join the Church. To these Pharisees and Scribes, Jesus called them hypocrites saying, “You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter… 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.”

This teaching of Jesus reminds me at the presentation of the Book of the Gospel at my Diaconate Ordination. Bishop Mulvey, while handing the Book of the Gospel to me, said, “Believe what you read. Teach what you believe. Practice what you teach.” When do I stop practice what I teach? Perhaps, I cannot stop practice what I teach till the day that I take my last breath. Do all clergy the only ones need to practice what they read and what they teach from Scriptures? Or rather, by the virtue of baptism, we are all invited to practice to live the words of God. Have you and I had courage and strength to live the words of God on our Christian life?

 

Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen


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