22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – B
August 30, 2015


I feel convicted today … and for good measure and for good reason. I am told to quit mere form. I am told to veer away from shallow feelings. I am told to function commensurate with the form and the accompanying feelings.

Moses told the Israelites to “hear the statutes and decrees which [he] has taught them to observe.” James, for his part, reminds everyone to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only.”

Now, the Lord has a pretty nasty word (for our politically correct generation) for everyone who subscribe only to form and feeling, not substance … And the winning word in our scrabble game today is … HYPOCRITES!

Ouch! That hurts. And why not?

We are all hypocrites in one way or another, at some time or other in our lives.

That time is now. That place is here. And that person is you and me! The Pharisees and Scribes were pretty notorious … then – and now! They focused on rituals and externals. They knew all the rules. But they knew all the tricks of the trade to break the very same rules.

They focused on externals. They zeroed in on form and feelings. Oh, what better way to control people than capitalizing on their fanatical, and “religious feelings!”

No, dear friends. A note to self, first and foremost … not lip service alone … not feelings alone. Function must follow. Action must ensue.

People are not willing to hear God-talk alone, but God-walk.

I feel convicted. I feel challenged. I need to do more than focus on form and feeling. “The one who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.”