“You hypocrites! You sail the seas and cross whole countries to win one convert; … as you yourselves are!” (Mt 23: 15)
Today’s Passage: Mt 23:13-22
Meditation: “You hypocrites! You sail the seas and cross whole countries to win one convert; and when you succeed, you make him twice as deserving of going to hell as you yourselves are!” (Mt 23: 15) This message of Jesus makes me rethink about our evangelization or missionary activities. Here I share one or two of the ordinary instances. This is not only for the notice of priests and the religious but also for lay people, especially youngsters who build up their Christian family life together. In my last 17 years of pastoral experience some three or four times I have asked the bridegrooms, during their pre-marriage preparations, why they should put their partners’ life in trouble. Why such a question? Because, in all these cases the brides were non Christians but they had already known and loved Jesus. Two of them have shared their Christ experiences from their schooldays on and only because of that they loved this marriage proposal and proud to be part of a Christian family and continue their faith. Good girls, thorough with elementary faith prayers and teachings. But, when I came to my catholic part, they were, after ten years and plus of catechism formation, ignorant and indifferent about their faith. In another case, two of them were living together after a registered marriage and have a child of six years old, but wanted to have a Christian marriage (may be because of the pressure from family or society). I went for the canonical procedures and at last they were called for a preparation in view of their Christian marriage. Although, I was astonished by the poor woman’s faith and how she lives that faith through her prayers, I was really upset and belittled by the ignorance and indifference of the man. Even today, it grieves to my heart; the pain these poor women take to keep themselves united Christ, and the way they were disappointed with the lives of their Christian partners living an unchristian life. Jesus’ criticizes today each one of us for the irresponsibility we are having in our living and witnessing the Christian life.
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. We are very proud of our family and faith traditions. But as you put your fingers against the Pharisees today, we realize that it is really against us also. Many anonymous poor Christians are ready to lay down even their life for you, but what we have is only the Christian name and some boasting on faith traditions. Lord, have mercy on us, hypocrites. Amen.
Greetings: Take courage God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Monday…