Today’s Picture: Jesus faces the Leaders in the Temple by James Tissot
Jesus Attacks Religious Hypocrisy
Most religions seem to develop a style of living the life of Faith that lays down many rules and regulations which believers are told to keep in order to be considered faithful.
We see it in Christianity, Islam and here in today’s Gospel in Judaism.
The problem comes when following the rules takes over
from cultivating a loving heart.
Is it inevitable that a religion of rules loses its humanity?
Is it inevitable that those who keep the rules despise those who do not?
Preparation: Begin by stilling, then dedicating the time of prayer to God and asking God that all you think, feel and imagine are for the glory of God.
Gift: Ask for what you desire. Suggestion: That I may be humble and notice the needs of others, developing a compassionate heart.
Setting: Imagine yourself listening to Jesus. You may well also ponder on what this Gospel story says today.
Matthew 23:1-7 & 11 HCSB
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples:
“The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses.
Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it.
But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach.
They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders,
but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them.
They do everything to be observed by others:
They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love the place of honour at banquets,
the front seats in the synagogues,
greetings in the marketplaces,
and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Conversation: Talk to Jesus, how do you imagine he might reply to you.
Final Prayer: End with a formal prayer such as the Lord’s Prayer/Our Father.
Today’s Music: Seek ye First, produced by Emmanuel Prathap Singh
Click for more music by Emmanuel Prathap Singh