Jesus criticized the Pharisees and called them hypocrites. They were caught up in their strict observance of the Law, certain that this made them better than everyone else. They looked down their noses (from the height of their “high horses”) on those they considered less pious, less dedicated, less knowledgeable, less faithful—less worthy in the eyes of God than they.
I am wearied by hypocrisy. Too many people and institutions that call themselves Catholic or Christian are far from consistently following the path Jesus set out for us. I know, some of you might think I sound likes the Pharisees, and, yes, I can be judgmental and superior at times. But, unlike the Pharisees as they’re portrayed in the Gospels, I am painfully aware of my own failings. I include my judgmental thoughts and words in every confession I make, sincerely wanting to be free from that sin and to improve in this area of my life.
My latest motto is “Be Who You Are!” If you claim that Jesus is your Lord and savior, then follow his lead and live like it. If you claim a Catholic identity, then come to Mass and pray and sing like you mean it! Then leave Mass and take your faith out into the world.
Make a commitment!
We each need to figure out who we are—and then be that person or organization. Might it be uncomfortable at times? Sure. Might it be challenging at times? Sure. Might you need to make big changes in the way you’re living? Probably. Could you even be persecuted for it or misunderstood because of it. Yes. Might it allow you to look yourself straight in the eye—and like the person you see looking back at you? Absolutely! In spite of the discomfort, Paul tells us that the “peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).
So, if you believe it, BE IT! And if you catch me being less than I claim to be, please call me on it.
photo credit: photoxpress.com / Luminus