Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary.
Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” When he went outside, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile toward him and to cross-examine him about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus chides the scholars of the law, and their response can only be described as mean-spirited; the text says “hostile … lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.” How often do we see this in the public sphere today? Someone speaks out about an issue, and news anchors or anonymous internet users overanalyze every aspect of the speaker’s life, questioning intentions, and seek to invalidate and dismiss the person. But at the start of the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius enjoins the director of the retreatant to take on a “presupposition” of goodwill — namely that the director should be “more ready to put a good interpretation on another’s statement than to condemn it as false.” This can be a model for our interaction with others, especially those we don’t like being around. How can you love your enemies today?
Prayer for Generosity
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve You as You deserve;
To give, and not to count the cost;
To fight, and not to heed the wounds;
To toil, and not to seek for rest;
To labor, and not to ask for reward,
Save that of knowing that I do Your will.
—St. Ignatius of LoyolaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!