From the gospel that we have just listened to, Our Lord challenges the Scribes and the Pharisees about how they went about practicing their religion. He employs a powerful comparative metaphor to drive home His point. He tells them that they are the kind that spends so much time, so much careful attention, to strain tiny, almost invisible, flies out of their drinks, but on the other hand, they swallow the dirtiest and biggest camels one could ever find. How can you compare a tiny little fly in your drink to a big and dirty camel?
"I was a neurotic for years. Anxious, depressed, selfish. And everyone kept telling me to change. And I resented them, and agreed with them, and wanted to change, but simply couldn't, no matter how I tried. What hurt the most was that, like the others, my closest friend kept urging me to change. So I felt powerless and trapped.
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Sometimes, after hearing someone’s confession, I’ll offer them the penance of sitting quietly, preferably before the Blessed Sacrament, with Rosary in hand, moving from bead to bead through all the decades, silently repeating, “Jesus, I trust in You.”
Many good Christians may find today's gospel shocking because it might look like it presents an unjust and unfair image of God. Reading the parable for the first time, we might conclude that God is suggesting unfair labor practices.
No winner yesterday for the lottery here in the USA, which is now worth one billion dollars, however we did score a win today with the two Scripture readings read at mass today.
It is now summertime in the Northern Hemisphere. I, like billions of human beings, love summertime. It can be a time of rest, vacation, time for family. Let it not be merely a superficial time, but rather true recreation: re-creation – for drinking from deep well springs that return us to what life is really about, that renew us and give us life. That can happen in simple, beautiful ways.