Wednesday, 21st Week OT A
Matthew 23:27-32

In Palestine tombs were often placed by the sides of roads. They were painted white which made them glisten in the midday sun, especially around the time of the great feasts, so that people would not accidentally touch them and incur ritual impurity. Outwardly these tombs appear beautiful, but inside they were full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.

So many people spend so much time trying to look good on the outside, but they spend little time cleaning up their insides, examining their consciences, confessing their sins. Many worry more about looking good than being good.

Outward appearances can be deceptive, can’t they? We only need to look at the recent sex abuse scandal within the Church to see this truth in action.

Jesus used strong language to warn the religious leaders and teachers about the vanity of outward appearance and pretense – wearing a mask that hides the true intentions and thoughts of the heart.

Jesus equates true beauty and goodness with a clean heart and mind that is set on God and his way of love and goodness. Whereas he equates sin with a corrupt mind and heart that is set on doing what is wrong and evil. Pleasing others rather than pleasing God. Being more concerned about being politically correct than being passionate to observe the truths revealed to us by God himself.

Perhaps we are not ourselves set on doing what is wrong or evil, but we may excuse wrong and evil attitudes by thinking that while we would never do such things, we must respect the choices others make. You know, “I don’t believe abortion is right, but who am I to tell others what to do with their bodies? Who am I to tell them what they are doing is sinful?”

It is a confused and unholy notion that personal choice is somehow more sacred than the Word of God and the teachings of his Church. This is the mantra of the culture we live in today. Personal choice is held up as being sacred in our culture, rather than the eternal truths revealed to us by Christ himself. We must pray for all those who call themselves Catholic yet embrace our culture of death.

Brothers and sisters, we must call the world to repentance. This is our duty as Christians. We must never accept that personal choice is somehow more sacred than God’s word and the teachings of Mother Church. And I’m talking about ALL of her teachings, not just those that we find easy or unoffensive.

The Holy Spirit is ever ready to renew our minds and hearts and to lead us in God’s way of love and holiness. When you approach Our Lord today, truly present in the Eucharist we are about to receive, ask the Spirit to purify your heart and mind, filling you with the power of God’s love and goodness.

Only through the power of the Holy Spirit are we cleansed of our sins and our sinful attitudes. Let us pray today that he fill us with his love, purifies our hearts and aligns our inner thoughts with our outer show.

God bless you.