God’s Way and Our Way

shutterstock_88091536God’s ways are completely the opposite of the actions and attitudes of the Pharisees whom Jesus condemns in the gospel. The Pharisees put importance on external observances and to be greeted in the market squares. They wanted to be praised for their self-righteous deeds because deep down they loved themselves and not God. Often they neglected the needs of the poor and the oppressed in their society. They did not defend the rights of the widows and orphans, the defenseless ones in society. In fact they would even exploit them and swallow up their resources. Therefore Jesus strongly rebuked them hoping that they would amend their ways.

Jesus also lashed out at the lawyers who loaded on men burdens that were too heavy for them to carry. They imposed on them obligations which they did not have the capacity to fulfill. So many people do this nowadays. We ourselves are guilty of this at times. Instead of helping people, we expect them to be good, to accept injustices and sufferings. In return for our services, we impose exorbitant fees on them. We tax the poor when we lend money to them at high interest.

True religion promotes loving our fellow men as ourselves. This would mean respecting their rights and treating them with compassion. It would also mean defending them against those who maltreat and oppress them. We are called, by virtue of our baptism, to correct sinful men and denounce their sinful actions. But first, we must make sure that we are not oppressing or maltreating anyone ourselves.