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Tuesday, January 15, 2008


In today's gospel reading (Mark 1:21-28), the Lord visits a synagogue where "[t]he people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes."

The homily I heard today focused on how authority can be easily undermined by a disconnection between one's words and one's actions. The priest cited how, throughout Church history, we have been unfortunate enough to have Church leaders with such a disconnection: hypocrites, in other words. Lest we forget, however, hypocrisy is a disease that is in all of us. As a father, I lapse into this fairly often in what I tell my kids about keeping their temper or sharing with one another. The tragedy in hypocrisy is that our words may be precise and true, but our contrary actions will render our words hollow. Worse still, our hearers, who hate our contrary actions, will associate the same hatred with our words. Just look at how many people now hate the Gospel, true as it is, because of some hurt suffered in the past due to the untoward actions of hypocrites.

There is one person in all the world, however, who is without any hypocrisy: Jesus of Nazareth. His words and his actions are one: they are of love. Even better, he shares his holiness with us, his very life. This divine life can heal our hypocrisy -- if we do not reject this gift.

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