DECORATING THE GRAVES


“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendents of those who murdered the prophets. And you filll up/complete the measure of your ancestors.” (Mt 23: 29-31)

The Pharisees have this ostentatious fidelity to prophetic authorities of the distant past, while murderously plotting against One speaking to them in the here and now. It’s easy, isn’t it, to profess loyalty to “patristic Tradition” and to the Fathers no longer with us? It’s chilling, really, how such loyalty can be coupled, also in our time, with a disregard, or even fierce opposition to, the Church-authorities of today. It’s reminiscent of some of the “traditionalist” opposition to the Holy Council recently convened in Crete.

But my point is not to argue with anyone. “…I mean no harm,” as Bob Dylan says, “nor put fault / On anyone that lives in a vault…” Let me be reminded today, for myself, of our Lord’s admonishments to the scribes and Pharisees, that I be sensitive to His voice in the here and now. Let me “be attentive” to the authorities He sends me today, that I may have the eyes to see, and the ears to hear, where He is leading me in the today.

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