Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
Often in the Gospels we find described some encounters between Jesus and the Pharisees, people who apparently showed themselves blameless before the Law of God and its commandments. In fact, in the eyes of the people, the Pharisees were those who showed themselves to be perfect in keeping the Law, to such an extent that they kept all the commandments given by God to Moses even more scrupulously than the Law itself required. In all this, however, there was one problem that Jesus fearlessly and hesitantly pointed out and denounced: the outward observance of the Law. All the blamelessness of the Pharisees was, after all, merely an outward way of life, to be admired and revered by the people who saw them as individuals without blemish and incapable of doing wrong. Not only that, by virtue of this apparent moral superiority they felt justified in judging others. Jesus did not mince words in exposing these false worshippers of God. A plant is recognized by the fruit it bears. For us today, too, this Gospel warns us of the risk of living like the Pharisees, caring much about the appearance of our faith such as observing certain outward practices, but not having God in our hearts. May the Lord help us to always be simple people who live their faith in charity toward their neighbor and sincere love to God.