‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
As someone involved in faith formation, this scripture has set me on some serious soul searching. If we are honest, it is very easy for persons who are serious about their faith to behave like the scribes and Pharisees, who really were not evil men. They were like many of us.
Jesus admonishes them, not because he wanted to condemn but to force them to stop and check their hearts according to God’s truth and holiness and not their own standards. Jesus’ use of the word “hypocrites” is jolting because it forces me to do the same; to “see” more clearly who I really am and to ask some disturbing but necessary questions, for example. “To what extent do I do what I do for status and not service?”
I must stop and seriously look at some possible sinful attitudes too, such as pride and envy which may be leavening and can cause me to become intolerant and judgemental of others.
“Change my heart O God, make it ever true.”