Gospel: Luke 12:1-7
At that time:
So many people were crowding together
that they were trampling one another underfoot.
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,
“Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness
will be heard in the light,
and what you have whispered behind closed doors
will be proclaimed on the housetops.
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for Rosemary & Mike S’s Family and Friends Intentions.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus continues His attack on the Pharisees and warns His followers of the leaven of the Pharisees. Leaven (or yeast) has been used in dough to make it rise. As for the Pharisees, it is their hypocrisy that makes them full of themselves. Their hypocrisy, the Lord tells us, would soon be exposed like a secret made known to all, like a word revealed in broad daylight, like a whisper shouted on the housetops. Unlike the Pharisees, Jesus comes as He really is – a loving God. On 21st December 1674, Jesus appeared to St Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitadine nun, whose feast day we commemorate today. He requested her to make known His love for humankind. He continued to appear at intervals revealing His Sacred Heart as the symbol of His divine-human love for everyone. St Margaret offered frequent Communion, especially on the First Friday of each month, and an hour’s vigil every Thursday night in remembrance of Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Like other visionary saints such as St Faustina Kowalska, St Margaret endured criticism from fellow nuns, theologians, and parents of children she taught. She was supported by her confessor, St Claude de la Colombière. Her faithful devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus encourages us to come closer to the Lord who is “gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29).
- How do you react to the hypocrisy of some of our leaders (religious and civic)?
- How did you overcome criticisms made against your religious views?
- “Should you find yourself overwhelmed by fear, cast yourself into the abyss of the unshaken confidence of the Sacred Heart, and there your fear will give place to love.” (St Margaret Mary Alacoque) When was the last time you opened your heart to Christ’s Heart?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Through the prayers and example of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, draw us all to Your Sacred Heart, wounded by our sins, yet burning with love for us sinners. Amen.