Tuesday of week 21 in Ordinary Time

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3,14-17; Psalm 95(96):10-13; Matthew 23:23-26

The entire of Matthew Chapter 23 seems to be a tirade against the bad practices of the Pharisees. We may  feel a little uncomfortable - after all he Pharisees maintained their synagogues, provided social security to the synagogue members, in general they were the glue that kept their society together. And in the west at least we have much historical guilt over the way we have treated Jews, and often using this scripture to justify our collective behaviour.

The context of Matthew 23 must be seen within his entire Gospel. Matthew was writing for the Jews, and is very positive about them. For just one example, in Chapter 20 he feels compassion for two blind jews and heals them. If Jesus loved the Jews then so should we. Jesus was pointing out that some things that some of the Jews were doing was getting in the way of progress towards God.

Widen the context, and we can see - we know indeed - that in every society most people are going about doing good, but in different ways. Some will tend to create processes, ways of doing things, which grow in importance to become rules and regulations - that is all the Pharisees had done. In so doing we humans can forget the important things - the healing of those around us in trouble of one sort or another, and we then need to listen to Matthew 23 and realise that some of the things we hold as important are not really as important as we think that they are.

We may be confused, and not at all sure about what is important. See what Jesus says and does - that is what is important.

Posted in Daily Reflection.