Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Daily - 8/25/09

Matthew 23:27-32

This is the last of the "seven Woes" in Matthew 23. After this passage, the daily mass gospel readings move into Matthew 24, but there's some more left in 23 that I'll tack on to the end.

27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth.

28 Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

29 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous,

30 and you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets' blood.'

31 Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;

32 now fill up what your ancestors measured out!

33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how can you flee from the judgment of Gehenna?

34 Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and pursue from town to town,

35 so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood shed upon earth, from the righteous blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

36 Amen, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling!

38 Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate.

39 I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"



Christ will be the judge of the living and the dead at his second coming. We get a good view right here of how that whole process might look. Pretty scary if you ask me.

I read these and I say to myself ... man, I'm glad I wasn't a Pharisee. The lesson remains for us though. Christ says he sent prophets, wise men, and scribes. The Jewish leaders didn't recognize them, and snuffed them out.

OK, so I'm not a Pharisee, so I'm off the hook for the specific crimes mentioned above. But how often does Christ send me somebody that I don't recognize?