Luke 11: 42-46
Lord, I believe that you are present here as I turn to
you in prayer. I trust and have confidence in your desire to give me every grace I need to receive
today. Thank you for your love, thank you for your immense generosity toward me. I give you my life
and my love in return.
Lord, make my heart more like yours.
Falling into the Same Trap:
Do we ever find ourselves rooting for Jesus in this Gospel passage? Give
it to them hard, Lord! They deserve it! We imagine ourselves there in the scene our arms sternly
crossed, our heads shaking in disapproval of those oh-so hypocritical Pharisees. Soon our thoughts
turn to someone we know who should also receive a good verbal lashing! Even a priest or a bishop
might be the subject of our mental reprimand. Yet we now find ourselves right in the shoes of the
very Pharisees we so deplore: Our hearts are embittered and dry. Although we are able to condemn
with the Lord, we do not love with the Lord. We forget that Christ would lay down his life for these
Pharisees he is calling to conversion even if they were the only ones who needed to be saved.
Pointing the finger is easy, but a call to conversion can come only from a heart that
2. The Grumpy Catholics Guild:
Is there anyone who can't find at least
one thing wrong in their parish or diocese? One thing is to see, pray for, and help resolve these
difficulties. Another matter is to dwell on them. That is what the members of the Grumpy Catholics
Guild (GCG) do. This Gospel passage is the one exclusive lens through which they view everything.
For the Rosary, members of the GCG pray the Vengeful Mysteries: Jesus curses the fig tree, Jesus
clears the temple, Jesus condemns the scribes and Pharisees. Might I be an anonymous member or at
least a supporter of the GCG? Christ used hard words, but they were only fruit of an intense love
and longing for the scribes and Pharisees salvation, not an intense bitterness toward them. If I
have any bitterness in my heart, I need to ask Christ for the grace to forgive and to forgive as
3. Helping Hand:
Our Lord was the greatest teacher, the great pedagogue of the fullness of
life: the love of the Father. He knew how to bring souls along little by little, at their pace and
to the extent they were capable. The opposite is true of the lawyers at the end of this Gospel
passage. They would load restrictions, unwieldy responsibilities and weighty sacrifices upon the
people, but would not reach out a helping hand to assist the people in carrying the weight. As
Christians we are called to help illuminate the consciences of those around us so that they might
have a closer relationship with God. However if illuminating their consciences is merely our
euphemism for throwing the book at them, we need to stop and see if Christ's words don't apply to us
as well: For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to
Conversation with Christ:
Lord Jesus, at
times I look at my heart and
see that it is hard and bitter. It is ready to
self-righteously at the first opportunity
to condemn someone else, but only so as to
myselfof my own moral superiority.
Grant me a heart, meek and humble like
If I find myself thinking critically about someone
today, I will pray for them and look for two good qualities in them.