31st SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
‘They do not practice what they preach’
(Pic by Eimear McGuinness)
Thomas Jefferson wrote the US Declaration of Independence in 1776 which contains the
wonderfully inspiring assertion that ‘all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’. Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner! Words without deeds are hollow. Back in the first century the Roman philosopher Seneca proclaimed: ‘The highest duty and the highest proof of wisdom is that deed and word should be in accord’. Today, Jesus castigates the Pharisees for not walking the talk, for laying heavy burdens, for seeking the limelight. He calls them hypocrites, a word meaning ‘actors’ in Greek, the ones who wore masks. True disciples must be genuine and grounded, living humbly the faith they profess, and in the process drawing others gently to ‘come and see’. ‘The strength of the Church is not the strength of its institutions, but the authenticity of its witness’. ‘Lighthouses blow no horns; they only shine’.