Today’s Gospel: Luke 11, 42-46
I have to admit that my first thought in reflecting on this passage from Luke, with Jesus’ withering denunciations of Pharisaical hypocrisy and vanity, is who I can aim this reflection at. After many deleted starts it became apparent that, for Christ’s words to truly live in me, I have to allow these arrows to penetrate into my own soul. They must pierce through my own hypocrisy; they must expose the root of my vain motivations for doing even good things.
Yeah, it’s painful, but it’s so necessary. Because we all have deep wounds or false identities within our souls that, from their fortified places, bind us to actions rooted in self-justification or self-condemnation. These works fill up your interior soul with compulsions, manipulations and distractions—misdirecting your gifts to dead ends. For the Pharisees the Law had become the end. For Jesus the Law was the path to Him, the way to loosen our death grip on the passing glories of this world and open the heart to a love that breaths in and then through us. Once that arrow hits its mark within our souls His supernatural love spreads its healing balm.
With His love revealing and healing our vain motivations, we can do His work without vanity, condescension or manipulation tainting it. We can bring His truth with a love that endures and hopes in all things.
Woe to us when we desire to follow Him but are bound by our egos and not by Christ’s life giving love! Woe to us who have left no room for Christ to speak His love deep into your needy soul. Woe to us when we desire to be known as a Christian without knowing Him whose desire for us is immeasurable.
What area in your life do you need Christ’s healing “woes” to penetrate?
Savior, oh how I avoid your “woes”! How I fear what they may expose. Let your perfect love cast out all fear and Let your woes sink deeply into my heart so all that I do in your name pours forth your healing love.
Copyright 2016 Heidi Knofczynski
Heidi Knofczynski lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband Joel and her 6 or 8 children. She also has two grandsons. In her precious spare time she occasionally posts a reflection on Scripture on the Journey to Wisdom blog.