New Testament Challenge – February 6, 2019

Feb 6 – Mat 23:16-39 – “I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Mat 23:39)

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of judgment; it’s so easy to twist the Word of the Lord, the teaching of the Church and all her customs, and turn everything into a way of controlling, judging and manipulating others. History witnesses to this. A little bit of knowledge of the things of God makes us feel like we are the Pope, or something even higher than that.

I can hear the sadness behind every “woe” that Jesus utters. I have to welcome every one of those woes into my heart as a warning sign: I can become like them. I can become like those scribes and Pharisees because I, as a disciple of Jesus, have the responsibility to make sure that particular aspect of God’s values must be respected. Disciples of Jesus share with Him in the authority of the Kingdom. And this can get really out of hand and change quickly into self-righteousness. And it can become dangerous, especially if I am not really grounded in the Gospel, and how the Church wants me to live it today.

The truth is that Jesus is inviting me to look at every person who needs guidance, who needs reassurance, who needs to experience God’s mercy and Love in a new way: every person is another Him. And every person comes to me “in the name of the Lord,” as a gift that God gives me. I must make sure that I will not use God’s values against anyone but only to invite people to experience God’s Love. I know that in all people, especially those who, from my point of view, may seem far from God, I can experience the blessing of seeing Him loving me.

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