Monday, August 17, 2009

Daily - 8/17/09

Matthew 23:23-26

23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others.

24 Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.

26 Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.


I like to make fun of the Pharisees ... until I realize how many times I focus on the outside of the cup more than the inside.

One easy place for this to happen is with the sacrament of reconciliation. Sometimes I'll go to confession and focus on my sins without getting to the underlying reason WHY I've committed the sin. If I do that, I'm cleaning the outside of the cup, but not the inside.

When I concentrate on this I typically find that my sins are the result of a deeper issue within me. They usually come down to being afraid of something, in one way or another. Pride then kicks in the door and gives an easy solution to the fear, and the result is I behave as a slave to pride.

I'm trying to get myself to think harder about my sins and why I commit them. Maybe I've got a wound deep inside me that needs healing. Maybe I won't let people see me as I really am because I'm afraid of what they'll think. Maybe I'm really worried about something and know I shouldn't be, so I'm afraid of that.

When I'm in the confessional, I certainly need to confess my pride, but I also need to understand that this is how pride works, and ask for God's help in identifying the real issue I have. That's the only way that the cup can get truly clean.