Sixth Week After Epiphany, Wednesday, February 16, 2022
After Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee asked Jesus to eat with him. So Jesus went in and sat at the table. But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Jesus did not wash his hands before the meal. The Lord said to him, “You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are full of greed and evil. You foolish people! The same one who made what is outside also made what is inside. So give what is in your dishes to the poor, and then you will be fully clean. How terrible for you Pharisees! You give God one-tenth of even your mint, your rue, and every other plant in your garden. But you fail to be fair to others and to love God. These are the things you should do while continuing to do those other things. How terrible for you Pharisees, because you love to have the most important seats in the synagogues, and you love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. How terrible for you, because you are like hidden graves, which people walk on without knowing.”
One of the experts on the law said to Jesus, “Teacher, when you say these things, you are insulting us, too.”
Jesus answered, “How terrible for you, you experts on the law! You make strict rules that are very hard for people to obey, but you yourselves don’t even try to follow those rules. How terrible for you, because you build tombs for the prophets whom your ancestors killed! And now you show that you approve of what your ancestors did. They killed the prophets, and you build tombs for them! This is why in [God’s] wisdom God said, ‘I will send prophets and apostles to them. They will kill some, and they will treat others cruelly.’ So you who live now will be punished for the deaths of all the prophets who were killed since the beginning of the world— from the killing of Abel to the killing of Zechariah, who died between the altar and the Temple. Yes, I tell you that you who are alive now will be punished for them all.
“How terrible for you, you experts on the law. You have taken away the key to learning about God. You yourselves would not learn, and you stopped others from learning, too.”
(New Century Version (NCV))
Loving Divine Family,
We enter your sacred prayer space seeking your wisdom. We long to learn about you and your mysteries. So many people tell us to do more, pray harder and be right with religion. But in this space, you remind us of who we are and that you seek nothing but a personal relationship with us.
Thank you, Divine Family, for entering into the mess of our lives. We try so hard to keep up appearances, we pretend to have it all together and that we are in an authentic relationship with you. We hear you gently and lovingly remind us that you do not look at our outsides, but you see what is going on in our hearts and minds. Thank you for the reminder to be compassionate and fair to ourselves and then others. We receive your love, so we can love others. We hear the invitation to prepare for Lent.
I receive your loving wisdom today, LORD, and thank you for…
Forbid it, LORD, that we should boast in our religious actions and cause ourselves and others to stumble along this faith journey. Guide us in our words and deeds so we may always seek and respond to your calling and encourage others to journey with us in a good way.
With joy we praise you!
Cherie and Donovan Mutschler