Today’s Gospel: Luke 11:42-46
Optional Memorial of Saint Callistus I, Pope and Martyr
The Pharisees were set apart because of their holiness. Many of them used this to their own advantage. In today’s Gospel, Jesus takes them on. He tells them that all they want is the honor associated with their position. They focus too much on the rules and not enough on the love that is the basis of those same rules. They increase the people’s burdens and do nothing to help them. Sadly, many times we do the same.
When we focus too much on the rules and how we measure up, we can get a false sense of holiness, too. We can forget why we are doing something and just focus on appearing to do the right thing. We can neglect to help others because we are concentrating on ourselves. By being too legalistic, we too will increase the burden on those hurting around us. Seeking to make people measure up never works. It robs us of the opportunity to help others. We will end up set apart like the Pharisees, set apart by ourselves. We need to stop focusing on all the rules and start thinking about loving others.
Do I focus too heavily on the rules?
Do I have a false sense of holiness?
Lord, remove any false sense of holiness in me. Allow me to see people, not rules. Teach me to truly love others. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Ellen Toole