Posted by: frburke23 | August 26, 2013

Thought for Tuesday, 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus said:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You pay tithes of mint and dill and cumin,
and have neglected the weightier things of the law:
judgment and mercy and fidelity.
But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“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.”


We continue with these challenging words of Jesus to the scribes and Pharisees.  Once again he called them “hypocrites”, which means they say one thing and do another. 

Jesus accused them of paying tithes on theirs spices (dill and cumin), but they neglected things much more important like judgment, mercy and fidelity.  They were focused on the minutiae of the law, but missed the things that really mattered.  Jesus tells them that they were right about tithing, but they should be more focused on the important matters.  He tells them, “Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!”

Do I focus on the minute details of the law while missing the big picture of faith, like loving my neighbor?

Then Jesus challenges them to look into their hearts.  He says that they put on a good show externally, but their hearts are “full of plunder and indulgence”.  Wow, those are very direct words.  Imagine what that would feel like to have Jesus tell you that….

Is my heart clean?

Or do I focus on putting on a good external appearance only?

I think of how often in our culture we have perfectly manicured lawns, immaculate flower gardens, perfectly painted houses, shiny cars in the driveway, etc.  The external appearance can be perfect and there is nothing wrong with having things look nice.  However, do I spend the same time and energy focusing on keeping my soul pure and my heart clean from sin?  What a different world we would live in if we took our spiritual lives as seriously as we take the material world around us.

Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation

Mateo 23:23-26

Jesús dijo:
“Ay de ustedes, escribas y fariseos, hipócritas.
Ustedes pagan el diezmo de menta y eneldo y comino,
y han dejado de lado las cosas importantes de la ley:
juicio y misericordia y fidelidad.
Pero estos debieron haber hecho, sin descuidar los demás. ¡Guías ciegas, que cuelan el mosquito y tragan el camello!

“Ay de ustedes, escribas y fariseos, hipócritas.
Limpian el exterior del vaso y del plato,
pero por dentro están llenos de saqueo e indulgencia de sí mismo.
Fariseo ciego, limpia primero el interior del vaso,
de manera que el exterior también pueda estar limpio”.


Continuamos con estas palabras desafiantes de Jesús a los escribas y fariseos. Una vez más, les llama “hipócritas”, lo que significa que dicen una cosa y hacen otra.

Jesús los acusó de pagar el diezmo en sus especies (eneldo y comino), pero descuidaron las cosas mucho más importantes como la justicia, la misericordia y la fidelidad. Ellos se enfocaron en las minucias de la ley, pero se perdieron de las cosas que realmente importaban. Jesús les dice que estaban en lo cierto acerca del diezmo, pero deberían estar más centrados en los asuntos importantes. El les dice: “¡Guías ciegas, que cuelan el mosquito y tragan el camello!”

¿Me concentro en los detalles minuciosos de la ley, mientras me pierdo el panorama de la fe, como amar a mi prójimo?

Entonces Jesús los desafía a mirar en sus corazones. El dice que ponen un buen espectáculo externo, pero sus corazones están “llenos de saqueo e indulgencia”. Wow, esas son palabras muy directas. Imagina que se siente tener a Jesús que te diga eso….

¿Está mi corazón limpio?
¿O me concentro en poner sólo una buena apariencia externa?

Pienso en cuántas veces en nuestra cultura tenemos jardines bien cuidados, inmaculados jardines de flores, casas perfectamente pintadas, coches brillantes en la entrada, etc. El aspecto exterior puede ser perfecto y no hay nada de malo en tener las cosas que se vean bien. Sin embargo, ¿gasto yo el mismo tiempo y energía concentrándome en mantener mi alma pura y mi corazón limpio de pecado? En qué mundo tan diferente viviríamos si tomamos nuestra vida espiritual tan en serio así como tomamos el mundo material que nos rodea.

¡Tengan un día bendecido!

Fr. Burke



  1. Thanks Fr. Burke,
    Letting you know we enjoyed the radio program yesterday on the Inner Life….Our baseball son and I listened while schucking sweetcorn. There were a few friendship in my life which letting go of….and now love is still there.

    I know and realize what you are saying in the bottom paragraph of todays post it has gotten way out of control…nice home…well kept lawns…cars…gardens….but just a short view came too me too….was: it doesn’t take much to have a lawn look nice if one cuts his lawn….keeps weeds from gardens….takes care of what the Lord has blessed him with…..Sometime I view when one doesn’t cut his grass…keep weed down….I find these people slothful….

    Working in our outdoors in the garden and viewing God’s creation…is when I find myself close to him and he is speaking to me….the beauty of a flower….the support a tomato plant needs….trimming away dead branches…pruning things not needed in ones life so new growth can come to be more fruitful…pulling out the weeds…lots of weeds in ones life. A time to plant a time to harvest….

    Spending time spiritually….on keeping my soul pure and my heart clean from sin? What a different world we would live in if we took our spiritual lives as seriously as we take the material world around us….I totally agree.

    Thanks much have you in prayers always

    • Thanks for your comments. I have responded to them in the thought for Wednesday since I thoughts you comments were very important. Thanks!

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