The WORD in Other Words by Fr Edgardo Bugtong SVD (Taiwan)
Wednesday Week 21 Ordinary Time, 1 Thes 2:9-13, Mt 23:27-32
To be called a hypocrite is harsh because it‘s an attack on one‘s person and reputation. In today‘s gospel, the scribes and Pharisees definitely became angrier at Jesus when he called them hypocrites. Jesus did not have any second thought exposing their evil ways.
Hypocrisy is not just fooling others but it‘s an offense against one‘s true nature that is good. The words of Jesus are a wake—up call for the truth. While addressed to the Scribes and Pharisees, they were also addressed to each one of us.
Many times we are in a state of denial about the truth for we would like to protect ourselves from being exposed to others. Self-protection is in itself good. But, it can be misleading because evil can present itself as good. Just like a cancerous tumor inside a body which poisons the person if not treated or taken out through the painful process of surgery, hypocrisy can poison our concept of truth and eventually lead to self-destruction.
May the words of Jesus, therefore, serve as a call to honest self-examination so that they can bring out that innate goodness that lies in each one of us.