If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that hypocrisy is THE key temptation for all good, religious people. It’s the line you and I walk every day… How often do we say more than we do? How often do we intend the good and fall short again and again.
So, when Jesus addressed the Pharisees, they functioned as a foil for his disciples. They “love the seat of honor in the synagogues…” What did the disciples fight about at the Last Supper? “Who is the greatest?” What do we fight over in our own time? Yep, you got it.
Paul spoke strongly to the Romans, saying, “You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things…”
Essentially, he’s calling them hypocrites because of the way they judge others. And by extension, he’s calling us… Yep, you got it.
Paul insists that we do the very things we judge others for.
[Now if you want a surprise, go back to chapter one in Romans to see what they/we judge others about. I suggest this because the division of books of the bible into chapters and verses didn’t begin until the 13th century. In fact it wasn’t until the publication of the Geneva Bible in 1560 that a generally accepted system was put in place.]
Even though it’s not Lent, I do find that I wonder about what sort of grace, what sort of event, what nudge will God send me to change me? And why does it take so darn long? What don’t I get?
More and more, I believe that the BIG grace and purification I hope for comes only in purgatory. Which leaves me standing always in need of the graces of challenge and comfort from the Lord. Even though it hurts my pride to be situated with the Pharisees, it does seem more realistic and truthful. Ouch!