Bible text: “Woe to you Pharisees, hypocrites! Which on the outside look beautiful but inside they are full of bones of dead and of all kinds of filth”. Matthew 23. 27-32
I am not worthy to speak like Jesus in the gospel because I am one of those to whom this criticism of Jesus is addressed. . Let us place ourselves in the Pharisees’ shoes. How would we react if someone accused us of the depth of hypocrisy that Jesus was accusing the Pharisees of? People have the impression that Pharisees are righteous. However, Jesus accuses them of being filled with hypocrisy and evil. How dare he? Who did he think he was to make such critical and public remarks to the Pharisees? After all, they were the leaders in the temple. They were doing good, not evil. The sad reality is that all of us have a “Pharisee” within us. I assume that most of us strive to be good. Naturally we desire to be esteemed and appreciated. We want to be competent, successful and happy. And this is natural and normal. However, we may try to hide the vulnerable and fearful side of ourselves. We may try to hide what we consider our “bones and our filth.” We don’t want people to see this side of ourselves. We want to look happy, successful, fulfilled and satisfied. . Today Jesus is speaking to us. He knows our innermost being. He knows that we want to look good and be successful. These are natural desires and hopes. However, periodically we may need to ask ourselves: Am I acting like a clown? Am I making myself appear as good and holy? Jesus doesn’t expect us to be perfect. However, he desires that we should not pretend to be holier, happier or more satisfied than in reality we are. . Authenticity will surely make us happy. This is what Jesus desires. He wants us to be the best we can be and trust that this is enough. Can we believe and trust this? I hope so!