October 16, 2019
28th Week in Ordinary Time
Rom 2: 1-11
Gospel: Lk 11:42-46
Jesus said, “A curse is on you, Pharisees; for the Temple you give a tenth of all, including mint and rue and the other herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. This ought to be practiced, without neglecting the other. A curse is on you, Pharisees, for you love the best seats in the synagogues and to be greeted in the marketplace. A curse is on you for you are like tombstones of the dead which can hardly be seen; people don’t notice them and make themselves unclean by stepping on them.”
Then a teacher of the Law spoke up and said, “Master, when you speak like this, you insult us, too.” And Jesus answered, “A curse is on you also, teachers of the Law. For you prepare unbearable burdens and load them on the people, while you yourselves don’t move a finger to help them.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Jesus lambasted the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. While they were regular in giving tithes to the Temple, they were also consistently practicing injustice. His attack against double-dealing was a call to integrity. He said: “This (giving of tithes) ought to be practiced, without neglecting the other (justice)”. An integral person is like an onion. An onion is an onion to the core. Similarly an integral person is a good person to the core. The good that his right hand does, his left hand does not contradict with evil deeds.
The opposite of integrity is duplicity. Without integrity, even honest deeds become impeachable since God detests a duplicitous person. In Revelations 3:15-16 we read: “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you” (Rev. 3:15-16). Thus, a politician who keeps the Lord’s Day holy but pilfers from government coffers is impeachable in God’s eyes. No amount of good deeds can launder the soul of the corrupt. What a waste of precious lifetime then to live in duplicity since even good deeds will not count!
If the corrupt politician stops going to church on the ground that the act is impeachable in God’s eyes anyway, or stops donating to the poor because there is no merit in it anyway, he will be throwing truckloads of dry logs to his own furnace in hell. The wiser option is to stop the corruption, not one’s prayer life and charitable deeds. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “This ought to be practiced, without neglecting the other” (Luke 11:43). While observing piety and doing charitable works, honesty in public service should not be overlooked.
Let us live in integrity lest we waste our life away. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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