Wednesday, 27 August 2008

My Thoughts on the Bible Readings for Today

In today's gospel readings Jesus talked about tombs. In Palestine tombs were often placed by the sides of roads. They were painted white which made them glisten in the midday sun, especially around the time of the great feasts, so that people would not accidentally touch them and incur ritual impurity. Jesus compared the scribes and Pharisees of His day to tombs- beautiful to look at, but filled with emptiness and death. They were intensely, scrupulously and meticulously religious in their lives, but their desires and practices did not help others to grow spiritually and to be happy. Thus their religiosity is worse than useless- their rules and behaviors actually led their people far away from God.

It's easy to say that if one had lived in the past one would not repeat the mistakes of one's ancestors. But how can one know that? How can one know the pressures (time, peer, etc.), the blindness of vision, the narrowness of mind, etc. that one's ancestors suffer from that cause them to behave wrongly in the first place? Can one honestly say that under the same things one would not err? Thus we should not judge our ancestors. We should only learn both from their mistakes and their righteous deeds. Besides, putting oneself over others is a sign of pride, and pride is NEVER right in the eyes of God. Being happy that one has certain gifts, life circumstances, etc. is one thing. Believing that these make one better, luckier, etc. than anyone else is another. So let us give back everything we received from God (and that really is EVERYTHING) by serving Him and others with love.

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