October 21, 2011

The Pharisees Exist Among Us

I asked a friend of mine recently for a ride to the bus stop, where I was going to catch a bus to see my son.  His reply was basically no.  His reason?  He had to attend his Bible study.  Now I know we are not supposed to judge others, but I can't help myself in this case.  I know him.  He goes to his Bible study group every week, and has gone every week for at least a couple years.

I can't help but think that this person is being like the Pharisees, who couldn't see the forest for the trees. They challenged Jesus because His disciples took, cleaned and ate some grain from a field they walked through on a Sabbath. They were quite hungry and were taking it for food, not for harvest. The Pharisees, however, claimed that Jesus allowed His disciples to work on the Sabbath.

Jesus and the Pharisees

Jesus reminded them that there are exceptions to laws.  In this case, when a person needs something very much, God's love is more important than His law.  The Pharisees were hyper-focused on the "rule" or the "law", such that they didn't see the bigger picture, which in this case is charity to a fellow Christian. 

In my example, my friend could not extend himself by missing his Bible study to bring me to the bus stop.  I may be off in my judgment of him, but even so, my idea is still valid.  We all know many Catholics who can not see the forest for the trees.  They are the Pharisees among us today.  I know, because, at times, I am one of them.

"Oh, Dear Jesus, please give me the grace to see clearly,
so that I may imitate You more closely."

image - http://www.stmaryswestmelbourne.org/homilies/95-twenty-second-sunday-in-ordinary-time-b.html

1 comment:

John said...


I heard you this morning on Gus Lloyd's program and I thought you were very honest, sincere and inspirational. I too love the faith and appreciate God's love, generously, patience, understanding and forgiveness.

I too once participated in a Protestant Church and was extremely uncomfortable there. I did not like how loose they were with the understanding of scripture. I found it destructive and insulting.

Moreover, they were very hostile towards others who did not agree with their spirituality. I never felt that vitriol in the Catholic Church.

God bless you now and always!

Respectfully - John Hand
Whitestone, Queens NY