Did religious spin artists exist back in Jesus’ time? My parish (St. Rose) handed out a gift recently on Ash Wednesday. “Not By Bread Alone 2017 – Daily Reflections for Lent” What a wonderful gift! These reflections were written by Genevieve Glen, OSB.
Before we begin, did you know Genevieve Glen happens to be one of the great hymn writers of our time? She is a Benedictine nun at the Abbey of St. Walburga in Colorado.
First, Matthew 23: 1-12 was the source for Glen’s reflection today (today’s Gospel). Glen wrote “Jesus challenges us to take a new look at “scribes and Pharisees.” Glen called them “religious spin artists then and now.” Additionally, she pointed out “…all their works are performed to be seen.
Furthermore, I believe the principle behind the message from Jesus is still current today: For some folks (sadly), image IS everything. Do you know people who “wear” their faith? Customers at our lonely store ask us about wearing rosaries. Crucifixes as fashion statements? Or always wearing over-sized religious jewelry?
Glen asks incisively: Do folks wear this stuff to convince others — or to convince themselves they are worthy of God’s love? Good question!
Finally, in the verse BEFORE the Gospel today, we may have the answer. It read “Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD. And make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.”
Look, it doesn’t matter what you were (or what you wore?). It matters what you ARE, and what you aim to be, from this day forward.