2 Thes. 1:1-5, 11-12 | Ps. 96:1-5 | Mt. 23:13-22
Jesus continues to speak forthrightly to the Pharisees. He is concerned because they make life difficult for all people. They preach a God who is harsh, uncaring, unwilling to come to the aid of the people. Yet they live lives of great ease and comfort. It is because of this hypocrisy that Jesus condemns the Pharisees. Paul gives thanks to God for the Thessalonians who have listened to the Word of God and have lived lives according to the Gospel. They seem to be people who live in a different manner than that of the Pharisees. We all have the opportunity to listen to the Word of God. We can live in such a way as to bring glory to God, or we can live as hypocrites. St. Augustine, whose feast is celebrated later this month, is one who lived a life in contrast to the Gospel for many years. But he listened and was open and converted. As such, he lived life in a new manner and with great love.
Today, consider your life. Do you listen to God’s word with openness and love? Do you live that Word by living according to that love? How might God be calling you to change your life? How will you respond?