The WORD in Other Words by Fr Cyrilo Ortega SVD (Philippines) Wednesday Week 28 Ordinary Time, Rom 2:1-11, Lk 11:42-46
The Gospel today opens with an extremely angry Jesus accusing the Pharisees of paying their tithes simply to “look good” rather than acting out of love of God and/or love for their neighbor.
Jesus is also challenging us to examine why we do what we do! Do we do something simply because it is expected of us? Do we want others to think well of us? Do we choose to do something because it is the “loving” thing to do? As we live through the day, may we be mindful of our motivations
Today‘s first reading ends with “there is no partiality with God.” God loves everybody, His mercy and kindness are “priceless.” We are called to return good works in response to God‘s offer of Himself in love. Wrath comes to those who “selfishly disobey” the truth, but those who “persevere in good works” are blessed. The emphasis is clearly on “doing the Word,” not just hearing it. Luke‘s Gospel continues this theme in Jesus‘ discourse against the Pharisees which is filled with strong words, demanding true faith and not hypocrisy.
Today‘s readings too suggest that actions speak much louder than words. It is not enough to say “justice, mercy, peace.” We must model them in our lives. If we speak of goodness and beauty but live in violence and arrogance, we are hypocrites and stand condemned before God and our fellow human beings.
Let us pray that today and every day all our actions will flow from our love for God and for God‘s people!