The Lord said:
“Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”
Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
“Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”
And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.” (Lk 11:42-46)
We often think of Jesus as this warm, fuzzy kind of guy who went around loving everyone, doing miracles, and generally freeing people from all their ills.
So, when we hear the kinds of passages that we get in today’s Gospel, the little hairs on the back of our necks rise.
We sweat a little. Maybe a lot.
Because we are faced with one of the questions that we do not want to ask ourselves: “Is Jesus happy with me?”
Jesus was hurling a lot of “woe to you’s” in the Gospel. One of the scholars took his chastising seriously, telling Jesus that he felt insulted.
“You should feel that way. Woe to you!”
We need to take the “woe to’s” seriously, lest we begin to feel as if they do not, should not, apply to us.
Jesus does not want us to feel down. But, He also does not want us to feel smug or above everyone else. We need to get our priorities straight. We need to get our houses in order. We need to be busy about the work of the Kingdom.
FAITH ACTION: Is there someone whom you tend to ignore? Treat them today as you always wish to be treated.