Saturday from the 20e week in ordinary time (Mt 23, 1-12)
“They say and don’t. (…) They do all their actions to be noticed by people… ” The severity of Jesus, the all-encompassing character of his reproaches against the scribes and the Pharisees never cease to amaze us. They can only invite us to look back on ourselves and also to look at how Jesus lives.
What Jesus denounces here is the complete opposite of what he himself experienced. Rarely speaks to him before acting, most often he performs an act and then he teaches, he explains the meaning of his gesture. He never acts to show off in the eyes of men, he always acts under the sole gaze of the Father. He is not looking for any title, no recognition. He only sought to serve. In him, no distance between being, wanting, doing, speaking; he is totally coherent, unified, because he receives his existence moment by moment from his Father.
What to say after that? Watch him live, watch him watch us and invite us to do the same. Give a glass of water to those who are thirsty, clothing to those who need it, a smile to those who are alone. And pray to him to give us his Spirit, the Spirit of his Father who will transform our wounded and divided being to make us in truth the children of the Father, brothers and sisters of Jesus, all brothers in him. And to believe, against all odds, that in God, nothing is impossible, from this earth, Heaven is between us.
A sister of the Carmel of Frileuse
Other texts: Rt 2, 1-3.8-11.4, 13-17; Ps 127.
Monday from the 21e week in ordinary time (Mt 23, 13-22)
At Matthieu, the seven “Woe to you! “, by which Jesus designates the seriousness of religious hypocrisy, follow the traps that the Pharisees set for him. They tracked down his every word as Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom: he first denounces their hypocrisy in the eyes of crowds and disciples, then turns to the Pharisees themselves. Here, Jesus thwarts the pretension and the pride of the authorities who, far from opening the door to the joy of the Kingdom, close it. How do they do it? By imposing rites and rules whose formal respect becomes more important than their sacred meaning, their finality: this is what awaits us as soon as we believe we are good people, in order with the Church and its prescriptions, to the point to forget God and to despise our brothers.
Happy are these little ones whose light is the goodness of God himself, the living and true God: with them the Gospel is not a simple word, but the action of the Holy Spirit. Their faith is not a set of duties first, a hierarchy between the pure and the unclean, but the joy of a fraternity without borders, celebrating the mercy of the same Father. Let us sing a new song to the Lord!
An apostolic sister of Saint John
Other texts: 1 Th 1, 1-5.8b-10; Ps 149.