Today’s Gospel: Luke 12, 1-7
Jesus warns his disciples, and us, “Beware of the leaven – that is, the hypocrisy – of the Pharisees.” But what does he mean by “leaven”? I asked a priest friend, and he explained that Jesus used this word which refers to yeast-like substances, to growing, expanding or creeping. That got my attention. “Leaven of hypocrisy” means there are degrees of this.
If I look closely, I do see parts of my spiritual life that have become “leavened” with hypocrisy. As a “good” Catholic Mom I do what I am supposed to do. We all know the list: prayers, Mass, Confession and the like. I believe people would look at my life and say yes, there goes a Catholic. But is that enough? Clearly Jesus says it is not.
We not only need to do all that we are supposed to, but we need to do it all with a clean and loving heart. Oh boy, that is a challenge! I can look at even this morning as an example of what Jesus is warning against. While trying to get to Mass with my family, there was more than one time I was frustrated and certainly did not have good and loving thoughts. Those little not-nice thoughts are part of the “leaven of hypocrisy.” If I let this hypocrisy grow, I am letting the evil one, Satan, into my heart instead of God. He is the one I need to fear.
Thankfully, Jesus ends with the good news that God loves us deeply and unconditionally. He values us and will take care of us. We need only to let God win and enter our Hearts.
What aspect of your life has come under the “leaven” of hypocrisy?
O Holy Spirit, give me the grace to let God the Father’s love in my heart so that I can spread Christ’s love to our family, friends and community; and help this love come truly from my heart, not merely routine.
Copyright 2016 Kimberly Whelan
My name is Kim Whelan and I’ve been married 25 years and have 3 great children aged 23, 16 and 12. In 2010, after a 10-year stint at home, I became the Parish Secretary at a great little church, St. Philip Catholic Church in Falls Church, VA. I am also a Jazzercise instructor.