Today we read in St Matthew’s Gospel a criticism of the religious leaders of Jesus’ time, the Pharisees, for not practicing what they preached. The inference was that people should heed what the Pharisees say, but don’t do what they do.
The warnings that are placed on the lips of Jesus in today’s Gospel are not so much directed against any particular historical group in the past. They are actually directed at any form of Pharisaism at any time or in any place. Pharisees are still around today in all sorts of guises.
Our Christian faith must be a lifestyle that we embrace freely and happily. It must never be a burden. It must always be a joy. That’s the message we are invited to pass onto our children. Furthermore, it is much more than a message. It is a lifestyle that we should live everyday of our lives.
Christ’s message is the opposite of Pharisaism. It is never a burden and it always evokes joy in our hearts and minds. We are invited to give thanks today for the wonderful sense of liberation and happiness that is ours because we are followers of Jesus Christ; not just yesterday; not just today; but eternally.