Woe to the Religious Leaders

Sunset from the courtyard at St John's Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts.
Sunset from the courtyard at St John’s Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts.

In Matthew 23:13-22 (today’s Gospel), Our Lord preaches woe to the religious leaders of his day for three reasons: first, they are stumbling blocks to people trying to enter the Kingdom; second, they do not instruct people in morality but in immorality; third, they falsely present the less important things as the most important things. Today’s religious leaders are not the clergy or those who work for the Church–today’s religious leaders are those who take seriously their discipleship and intentionally cultivate a deeper relationship to Christ and the Church (this should be true, of course, of every member of the clergy and every person who works for the Church). Striving to grow in holiness must mean that we want to help people get into the Kingdom, live moral lives, and focus on the most important things. With Saint Paul let us pray that:

Our God may make us worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in us, and us in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. (from 2nd Thessalonians 1:11-12)

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