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. Sep 2020 .
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Doctrines & Morals

Justice, mercy and good faith are the most important

2 Thes. 2:1-3.14-17, Mt. 23:23-26. In today's first reading, Paul combines attitudes that at first seem contradictory. In no way did he plan his actions merely to please others, yet he was anxious to be part of the lives of his people. He values practical decision-making in everyday matters, even while convinced that the second coming of Jesus was not far off. Another form of evasion, as Paul explains, is to be absorbed in awaiting our Lord’s second coming while not doing anything to solve the immediate needs of life. Paul offers many practical norms to keep religion free from weird excesses and in tune with the highest ideals. Another seeming contrast is found in the preaching of Jesus, when He reverses what the Scribes and Pharisees consider essential and what they judge as lesser value in today's Gospel. His attitude to the Law is that it all depends on the spirit with which it is kept. This could become very subjective, so that people’s behaviour would be prompted more by their feelings than by their principles. Unless there is trust in God and in each other, no principles will be enough.

The Scribes and Pharisees have grown so nearsighted by selfishness and vainglory as to neglect the weightier matters of the Law, justice, mercy and good faith. Despite their zeal to make others clean on the outside, they are unwilling to cleanse what is inside themselves. Here, Jesus speaks of us getting our priorities right, keeping things in proportion. Justice and mercy concern our relationship with our neighbour; faith concerns our relationship with God. For Jesus, what really matters is getting those two relationships right; everything else is secondary. Paul offers practical norms to keep religion free from weird excesses and in tune with the highest ideals. Today, we are challenged to show courage in the face of opposition; seek to please God rather than impressing others; avoid greed under any pretence. May the Lord guide our innermost thoughts and make them channels of God's grace and love as we open to the divine prompting to do what is right! Amen!! Keep safe and have a pleasant day!!!

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