31st Sunday Ordinary Time – Exalted & Humbled #1
St. Francis embraced… the inner hypocrite. Seem good? So, how are hypocrites humbled? Well, by insight into our lives. What did the Pharisees resist? Looking within the cup whose outside they just washed. What happens when we look inside the cup?
Matthew understands their hypocrisy based upon self-idolatry, inner blindness/ avoidance, and putting up a good front. Studying the term, ergon, “work, deeds” we get a glimpse into the inside of our cups. [Don’t forget Francis & the leper!]
Matthew 23:2 therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do [the deeds] as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.
Matthew 23:4f They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long.
Wisdom of Solomon 13:10 But miserable, with their hopes set on dead things, are those who give the name “gods” to the works of human hands, gold and silver fashioned with skill, and likenesses of animals, or a useless stone, the work of an ancient hand.
Then, concerning barus, “heavy, weighty” we see more of the inside of our cups…
Matthew 23:4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them.
Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others.
One more… two Greek words (platuno, & megaluno) come together here to mean they enlarge their phylacteries by magnifying/exalting them. The upshot of self-worship (attending to our own needs) is oppression of the poor through avoidance of our needs.
Matthew 23:5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long.
Deuteronomy 11:15–16 and he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you will eat your fill. Take care, or you will be seduced into turning away [enlarging your hearts, making room for], serving other gods and worshiping them…
Jeremiah 5:27f Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of treachery; therefore they have become great and rich, they have grown fat and sleek. They know no limits in deeds of wickedness; they do not judge with justice the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
[Remember St. Francis & the leper!] Seems to me that this is what is inside my cup. Hence, my hypocrisy. You?