October 16, 2013
Gospel Reading: Luke 11:42-46
“Woe to you lawyers also! For you load men with burdens hard to bear”
Jesus is the most courageous preacher the world has ever known. His preaching comes out undiluted. He does not look at people’s faces, whenever he is preaching. He does not even consider their wealth or rank. He was after the truth. And he proclaimed the truth without fear or favoritism. He preaches with authority and power.
During one of his preaching he faced the Pharisees of his time, saying, “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and salutations in the market places. Woe to you! For you are like graves which are not seen, and men walk over them without knowing it.” We have modern days Pharisees as well. These are people who, as Jesus said, occupy the front seat in Churches but who are enemies of progress. Those people who claim to know to know everything but who see other people as second hand citizens. They are those who claim to be what they are not before people. Jesus is placing a curse on people like this.
When he mentioned the Pharisees, the lawyers thought he would spare them. One of them said to him, “Teacher, in saying this you reproach us also.” By so-saying, he thought Jesus would have apologized for his utterances, instead He faced them squarely saying, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” We have such people in our Churches and society who make life so unbearable for others. They make religious life so difficult that people are even afraid to embrace the life. The best interpreter of law may equally be the best breaker of laws.
What a courageous preaching from a courageous preacher! How many men of God are ready to preach the undiluted word of God today? How many preachers are ready to confront the injustices in our society today? How many preachers are ready to tell the politicians and leaders truth that will help them improve in their leadership position? Instead we have so many preachers who tell politicians and leaders what they would like to hear. On the other hand, how many people are even ready to listen to the truth and not to flattering words?
If Jesus was to preach to our world today what do you think he would be saying to our generation? What do you think he would be preaching to leaders who are embezzling our public funds? What do you think he would be telling those who are kidnapping their fellow human beings because of money? What will Jesus preach to those who are collecting bribes before they could do their job as civil servants? What will Jesus preach to false prophets who are using false prophecy to extract money from people?
Am sure the same way Jesus confronted the evil in his time that is the same way he will confront the evil in our society. Child of God, we need courageous preachers like Jesus. We need people who are ready and willing to defend the truth at all cost. We need people who are filled with passion for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have no doubt, you are the one that can do this. All you need to do is to avail yourself and God will use you in a mighty way. God bless you as you do so.
• Thank God for blessing our world with courageous preachers like Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
• Thank God for martyrs and for all those who have sacrificed their lives for the gospel of truth.
• Ask God to deliver our society and churches from bad leaders and bad preachers.
• Ask God to remove the spirit of fear and shame from you.
• Ask God to fill you with the spirit of courage and steadfastness.
• Ask God to use you as agent of evangelization.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, you were so courageous that you were able to confront the evil in your own society. Lord Jesus Christ, our world is facing a lot of injustice, insecurity and immorality. We need courageous preachers like you. Raise men and women who will preach your gospel without fear. Use me as your instrument and may I continue to proclaim your gospel all the days of my lives, for you live and regain forever and ever – Amen!
Rev. Fr. John Damian Adizie, OCD