The Inner Man Shining Forth In Our Lives
November 05, 2023
Readings: Micah 3:5-12
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, 17-20
23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Today’s message is not in the form of a parable and Christ was very straightforward and confrontational to the religious leaders, who had set themselves in “the seat of Moses,” thinking of themselves more highly than anyone. In our lives today, when we are confronted with a fatal situation, we have nothing or no one else to hang on to except Christ. But shouldn’t we be hanging on to Him at all times? The Pharisees and Scribes had made religion extremely difficult for the people. When in reality, out of the 10 commandments, only two are really the most important: Love God and love your neighbor. God, by sending Christ, who took upon Himself the form of flesh, died for our penalty. Just as God has forgiven us, so should we forgive others.
The religious leaders were making religion a burden when God wants us to live a life of joy and peace. Christ was really upset with these leaders because they were giving the people more burden, which is exactly the opposite of what God had intended. When He created us, He gave us His image and likeness. We do not fully understand or believe in this because we see in ourselves, the weaknesses. He had intended for us to live like Him. The commandments He gave were founded on reverence. They require our honor and respect. A garden was given to man in the beginning. All the provisions of God were there. Trees and fruits, fresh air and everything we ever needed. But we have taken the commandments, violated them, to please our own selves. The 600 commandments added by the Pharisees and Scribes put the people in bondage and slavery and they weren’t even following the law. They only wanted praise for themselves. Christ however, never exulted Himself. He came to build man, not for man to build Him up. Exodus 13:16 “So it shall serve as a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead, for with a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.” So the people literally had these little boxes with the written commandments inside and they wore these around their wrists and around their forehead as a sign that they were following the commandments. The Pharisees were guilty of the sin of pride because they thought of themselves as the most highly among men.
Looking at our own lives now as the church, are we leading the people in the right path? Are we wanting them to believe so that we would be praised or are we turning them to God? When problems come our way, we should see these as corrections in our lives. In the Transfiguration, it tells us that Jesus’ garments shone. How? Because it came from the inside. It’s not the outer things that will change man, it’s what’s inside of us- our spirit, our attitude. God transforming us from within and bringing forth life to transform the world. We are to be like Christ who have the strength, joy and peace of God. Scripture tells us to “stop lying about who we are.” Ephesians 4:25 “Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves.” The truth is, we are children of God, created in His image and likeness. We become His Glory and His Joy when we follow Him. We are to develop a people that would glorify God and not ourselves.