Dear Brethren, I hope you have understood and taken to heart the following admonition of Our Lord, because it is a serious one. “For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
What is the justice of the scribes and Pharisees? It is a justice which is only concerned with appearances. Their justice consists of making themselves look like very pious Christians, because it is very important for people to see how good and holy they are. It is a display and sometime a show of their qualities and abilities. When a parish has the grace to number such gifted persons among its ranks, it is very important that everyone in the parish recognize their talents and the least we can do is to congratulate them for this. Scribes and Pharisees, indeed, don’t like to work for nothing. They appreciate flattery so much, that it would be a disgrace to refuse to shower them with compliments. Finally, their justice is their glory. The glory of God is the least of their worries, even though they claim the contrary. But we recognize them not by their words but, instead, by their actions and one day, their action will end up betraying them. It has always been the same story from the beginning of time, and yet there are still today some Pharisees who believe that they can be right and successful. It’s amazing how much pride can make us blind.
So, the scribes and the Pharisees regard themselves highly just because they know well the teaching of the Church, or at least, they think they know it well, and they zealously follow the divine precepts, except the most important one which is the commandment of charity. They come to the Church and they want to be sure that we can see them praying, singing and accomplishing the acts of our holy religion with a great care, but their heart is dry. They recite their prayer, but they don’t pray. They worship God like a robot, but they don’t love Him like a man. This is all their justice. Poor and miserable Christians!
And what about us, dear Brethren? Don’t we have the temptation to be like them? We would like to judge them, and by doing this, we become like them. Certainly, they are wrong, there is no doubt about this, but unless our justice abound more than theirs, we shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
May Our Lady give us this perfect justice which come from God only. We should read and meditate on the epistle of today, and ask for the grace to be able to apply it in our lives. Saint Peter tells us what is justice according to the heart of Jesus. This should be our justice, which abound more than the scribes and Pharisees.