Exodus 19:16-21:21; Matthew 23:13-39; Psalm 28:1-9; Proverbs 7:1-5
What could be more horrible?
What could be more disgusting, loathsome, repugnant or distasteful?
Maybe that’s what Jesus asked himself before he lambasted the Scribes and Pharisees with the seven “woes”.
“OUAI”–the Greek word is used as an expression of horror–translated into English as–WOE.
“Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” Woe…woe…woe….
SEVEN times Jesus used this interjection to address them, as he proceeded to call them on the carpet for demanding the people’s attention to man-made trivial additions to the Law (Mt.23:24), for being “full of greed and self indulgence” (vs. 25), and for parading around as perfect keepers of the Law (vs.28) among other accusations.
Jesus pointed the finger of blame at the very people who were established by God to nurture and maintain the spiritual life of His people and said, “Woe!”
“You snakes, you brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (vs. 33)
Whoa! Do I feel a bit of warning and condemnation being directed at me as well?
Maybe it’s time to do a little self-check.
Do my actions reflect a vibrant relationship with the one true God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Do I show mercy and walk humbly? Do I love my “enemies”? Do I forgive as I’ve been forgiven? Do I ‘do unto others as I would have them do unto me?’
Lord God, I know that I am guilty of hypocrisy–of not always living a life congruent with the name-Christian. Please forgive my sins-for Jesus’ sake. Have mercy on us who are called by Your name and especially those called to be leaders in the Church–protect us from the Evil one–and may we rely on You to help us ‘practice what we preach’ so we will not be found woefully lacking as we share Your Word. God grant it for Jesus’ sake, Amen.