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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read the Pharisees and scribes are not happy with the way everyone is supporting Jesus. They are concerned about his teachings and their political ramifications of them. In the parable of the wedding feast, a king invites certain people to the feast for his son, but some make excuses for not attending. Just like the scribes and Pharisees, they are invited by John the Baptist but refuse to see him. The king goes on to invite everyone to his feast. Those who attend the feast, need to wear a “wedding garment” those who don’t are allowed in. This is a symbol of the disposition needed to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus goes on to say the people their religious leaders have been given authority to teach and their teaching should be respected. They often, however, do not practice what they teach. Jesus pulls no punches with the religious leaders of his day and calls them “blind guides” who are corrupt.

We always must look at ourselves and be sure our heart is in the right place.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Matthew 22

1 Jesus began to speak to them in parables once again,

2 ‘The kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding.

3 He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come.

4 Next he sent some more servants with the words, “Tell those who have been invited: Look, my banquet is all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.”

5 But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business,

6 and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them.

7 The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town.

8 Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy,

9 go to the main crossroads and invite everyone you can find to come to the wedding.”

10 So these servants went out onto the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment,

12 and said to him, “How did you get in here, my friend, without a wedding garment?” And the man was silent.

13 Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and throw him into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”

14 For many are invited but not all are chosen.’

15 Then the Pharisees went away to work out between them how to trap him in what he said.

16 And they sent their disciples to him, together with some Herodians, to say, ‘Master, we know that you are an honest man and teach the way of God in all honesty, and that you are not afraid of anyone, because human rank means nothing to you.

17 Give us your opinion, then. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’

18 But Jesus was aware of their malice and replied, ‘You hypocrites! Why are you putting me to the test?

19 Show me the money you pay the tax with.’ They handed him a denarius,

20 and he said, ‘Whose portrait is this? Whose title?’

21 They replied, ‘Caesar’s.’ Then he said to them, ‘Very well, pay Caesar what belongs to Caesar — and God what belongs to God.’

22 When they heard this they were amazed; they left him alone and went away.

23 That day some Sadducees — who deny that there is a resurrection — approached him and they put this question to him,

24 ‘Master, Moses said that if a man dies childless, his brother is to marry the widow, his sister-in-law, to raise children for his brother.

25 Now we had a case involving seven brothers; the first married and then died without children, leaving his wife to his brother;

26 the same thing happened with the second and third and so on to the seventh,

27 and then last of all the woman herself died.

28 Now at the resurrection, whose wife among the seven will she be, since she had been married to them all?’

29 Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God.

30 For at the resurrection men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven.

31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you never read what God himself said to you:

32 I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is God, not of the dead, but of the living.’

33 And his teaching made a deep impression on the people who heard it.

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees they got together

35 and, to put him to the test, one of them put a further question,

36 ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’

37 Jesus said to him, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

38 This is the greatest and the first commandment.

39 The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself.

40 On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too.’

41 While the Pharisees were gathered round, Jesus put to them this question,

42 ‘What is your opinion about the Christ? Whose son is he?’ They told him, ‘David’s.’

43 He said to them, ‘Then how is it that David, moved by the Spirit, calls him Lord, where he says:

44 The Lord declared to my Lord, take your seat at my right hand, till I have made your enemies your footstool?

45 ‘If David calls him Lord, how then can he be his son?’

46 No one could think of anything to say in reply, and from that day no one dared to ask him any further questions.

Matthew 23

1 Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus said,

2 ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses.

3 You must therefore do and observe what they tell you; but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practise what they preach.

4 They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they!

5 Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader headbands and longer tassels,

6 like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues,

7 being greeted respectfully in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.

8 ‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one Master, and you are all brothers.

9 You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven.

10 Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ.

11 The greatest among you must be your servant.

12 Anyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.

13 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut up the kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces, neither going in yourselves nor allowing others to go who want to.

14 * [23:14] Some manuscripts add a verse here or after Mt 23:12, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. Because of this, you will receive a very severe condemnation.” Cf. Mk 12:40; Lk 20:47. This “woe” is almost identical with Mk 12:40 and seems to be an interpolation derived from that text. (USCCB)

15 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and anyone who becomes one you make twice as fit for hell as you are.

16 ‘Alas for you, blind guides! You say, “If anyone swears by the Temple, it has no force; but anyone who swears by the gold of the Temple is bound.”

17 Fools and blind! For which is of greater value, the gold or the Temple that makes the gold sacred?

18 Again, “If anyone swears by the altar it has no force; but anyone who swears by the offering on the altar, is bound.”

19 You blind men! For which is of greater worth, the offering or the altar that makes the offering sacred?

20 Therefore, someone who swears by the altar is swearing by that and by everything on it.

21 And someone who swears by the Temple is swearing by that and by the One who dwells in it.

22 And someone who swears by heaven is swearing by the throne of God and by the One who is seated there.

23 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You pay your tithe of mint and dill and cummin and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law-justice, mercy, good faith! These you should have practised, those not neglected.

24 You blind guides, straining out gnats and swallowing camels!

25 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of cup and dish and leave the inside full of extortion and intemperance.

26 Blind Pharisee! Clean the inside of cup and dish first so that it and the outside are both clean.

27 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look handsome on the outside, but inside are full of the bones of the dead and every kind of corruption.

28 In just the same way, from the outside you look upright, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build the sepulchres of the prophets and decorate the tombs of the upright,

30 saying, “We would never have joined in shedding the blood of the prophets, had we lived in our ancestors’ day.”

31 So! Your own evidence tells against you! You are the children of those who murdered the prophets!

32 Very well then, finish off the work that your ancestors began.

33 ‘You serpents, brood of vipers, how can you escape being condemned to hell?

34 This is why — look — I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some you will slaughter and crucify, some you willscourge in your synagogues and hunt from town to town;

35 and so you will draw down on yourselves the blood of every upright person that has been shed on earth, from the blood of Abel the holy to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

36 In truth I tell you, it will all recoil on this generation.

37 ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you refused!

38 Look! Your house will be deserted,

39 for, I promise, you shall not see me any more until you are saying: Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord!’

Matthew 24

1 Jesus left the Temple, and as he was going away his disciples came up to draw his attention to the Temple buildings.

2 He said to them in reply, ‘You see all these? In truth I tell you, not a single stone here will be left on another: everything will be pulled down.’

3 And while he was sitting on the Mount of Olives the disciples came and asked him when they were by themselves, ‘Tell us, when is this going to happen, and what sign will there be of your coming and of the end of the world?’

4 And Jesus answered them, ‘Take care that no one deceives you,

5 because many will come using my name and saying, “I am the Christ,” and they will deceive many.

6 You will hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for this is something that must happen, but the end will not be yet.

7 For nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

8 All this is only the beginning of the birthpangs.

9 ‘Then you will be handed over to be tortured and put to death; and you will be hated by all nations on account of my name.

10 And then many will fall away; people will betray one another and hate one another.

11 Many false prophets will arise; they will deceive many,

12 and with the increase of lawlessness, love in most people will grow cold;

13 but anyone who stands firm to the end will be saved.

14 ‘This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed to the whole world as evidence to the nations. And then the end will come.

15 ‘So when you see the appalling abomination, of which the prophet Daniel spoke, set up in the holy place (let the reader understand),

16 then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains;

17 if anyone is on the housetop, he must not come down to collect his belongings from the house;

18 if anyone is in the fields, he must not turn back to fetch his cloak.

19 Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come!

20 Pray that you will not have to make your escape in winter or on a Sabbath.

21 For then there will be great distress, unparalleled since the world began, and such as will never be again.

22 And if that time had not been shortened, no human being would have survived; but shortened that time shall be, for the sake of those who are chosen.

23 ‘If anyone says to you then, “Look, here is the Christ,” or “Over here,” do not believe it;

24 for false Christs and false prophets will arise and provide great signs and portents, enough to deceive even the elect, if that were possible.

25 Look! I have given you warning.

26 ‘If, then, they say to you, “Look, he is in the desert,” do not go there; “Look, he is in some hiding place,” do not believe it;

27 because the coming of the Son of man will be like lightning striking in the east and flashing far into the west.

28 Wherever the corpse is, that is where the vultures will gather.

29 ‘Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

30 And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven; then, too, all the peoples of the earth will beat their breasts; and they willsee the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet to gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

32 ‘Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.

33 So with you when you see all these things: know that he is near, right at the gates.

34 In truth I tell you, before this generation has passed away, all these things will have taken place.

35 Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

36 But as for that day and hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, no one but the Father alone.

37 ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it be when the Son of man comes.

38 For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark,

39 and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept them all away. This is what it will be like when the Son of man comes.

40 Then of two men in the fields, one is taken, one left;

41 of two women grinding at the mill, one is taken, one left.

42 ‘So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming.

43 You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house.

44 Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

45 ‘Who, then, is the wise and trustworthy servant whom the master placed over his household to give them their food at the proper time?

46 Blessed that servant if his master’s arrival finds him doing exactly that.

47 In truth I tell you, he will put him in charge of everything he owns.

48 But if the servant is dishonest and says to himself, “My master is taking his time,”

49 and sets about beating his fellow-servants and eating and drinking with drunkards,

50 his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know.

51 The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’

Proverbs 19:17-20

17 Whoever is kind to the poor is lending to Yahweh who will repay him the kindness done.

18 While there is hope for him, chastise your child, but do not get so angry as to kill him.

19 The violent lays himself open to a penalty; spare him, and you aggravate his crime.

20 Listen to advice, accept correction, to be the wiser in the time to come.

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