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Hypocrites Welcome – Weekday Homily Video

Hypocrites Welcome – Weekday Homily Video

Why pray?  |  Love thy Neighbor

A story is told of a Bishop who was often confronted by a wealthy man who talked very insolently. "I never go to church," boasted the rich man. "Perhaps you have noticed that, Bishop?"

"Yes, I have noticed it," answered the Bishop gravely. "Well, I don't go because your church has so many hypocrites." "Oh, don't let that keep you away," said the Bishop, smiling blandly. "There is always room for one more, you know."

Not the Man I Knew

A couple of years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with severe pain in my shoulder; I had a locked shoulder and had to get medical attention immediately. I was surprised to see many people also buying medicines in the wee hours of the morning at the hospital. But what caught my attention was a well-known, influential, respected man I recognized. I always see him in Church attending daily Mass. I've even seen him several times at our prayer meetings, and he is very active in society for good causes.

While people waited for their turn, the man started to get impatient. He asked the lady pharmacist for his purchases and complained that processing his credit card took too long. He shouted at the top of his voice as he name-dropped and threatened the pharmacist to have her fired. He was far from the person I would see in Church, quietly attending Mass, listening to Gospel readings, and receiving Holy Communion.

I felt sad for him and the lady and said a prayer for both. There may be many reasons why he lost his temper that night, but I left the pharmacy with a lesson: It's not enough that I go to Church and worship God. I must let Him dwell in my heart so that others may see Him in my life.

A Fall from the Pedestal

It is an inevitable rite of passage when we encounter the sinful or at least human side of those we hold in esteem. We often remember when our family members, political leaders, and spiritual leaders fell from the pedestal we had placed them on in our minds. I cannot help but read today's gospel passage without considering the recent scandals in the Church, scandals of leaders in politics, and the waywardness of loved ones in our families, people whom we looked up to as ideals but who fell from the pedestals we had for them. The betrayal is deep, mainly because, like the Pharisees in the gospel, these leaders and persons were the people we looked up to.

Seeking Redirection

In reflecting upon the human frailty that we encounter in ourselves and in those we hold in high regard, we find solace and inspiration in the life of Saint Augustine. His fervent journey, marked by its twists away from and back to God, reminds us of the transformative power of divine grace. The tears of his mother, the guidance of Saint Ambrose, and the Scriptures reshaped his heart. Augustine's legacy endures, urging us to embrace responsibility, integrity and dignity. Let us, too, seek such profound redirection, keeping in mind that, at least in a few instances, we are also people who are held in esteem and to whom others look up to.

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About Father Boby John, C.S.C.

Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.