Exposing the Pharisees

"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.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,
so that the outside also may be clean." - From today's Gospel, Matthew 23:23-26

In my Weekday Missal, the Gospel is introduced with this:  Jesus upbraids the scribes and Pharisees for having such a twisted set of values, especially for not being able to distinguish what is of primary importance what is peripheral.  Their double standard not only is their own downfall, but it also leads others to destruction.

Unfortunately, I've been experiencing this a lot lately.  I have watched so-called Catholics lie to get what they want from the Church, but make fun of me because I actually try to follow Church teachings.  I can feel them tugging at me and I don't want to be dragged down with them.

Recently one of my co-workers was fired for stealing.  When I found out about it, I was stunned.  This was a wonderful young man who was outgoing and hardworking.  Any mother would have been proud to call him son.

I don't know what happened.  He and I talked often when we worked together.  We laughed a lot and tried to have fun while we worked.  He had goals for his future and it seemed so very bright.

We had talked about others who were fired for stealing.  I told him that there is nothing here that is worth losing your job over.  Nothing.  He agreed.  Or so I thought.

Maybe he truly thought he'd get away with it.  Most thieves do.  Or peer pressure got to him.  Maybe someone bragged about getting away with stealing something and he thought he could too.  I'll probably never know.

Jesus chastised the hypocrites.  I'm going to keep my mouth shut.  I'm going to pray for that young man and hope that he gets back on track.  I will try and pray for the others, but my heart is just not in it.


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