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The Pharisee Syndrome

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Sounds like the title of a hit movie, doesn't it.

It puts a three word label to the point Jesus made time and time again in the Gospels: don't get so far into the trappings of religion that you get trapped into self-righteousness.

That was exemplified in yesterday's scripture story (John: 9.)

Once again the Pharisees took issue with Jesus expending effort to cure on the Sabbath. The act of molding clay to treat blindness and then the request to wash it off were violations. "This man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath," they argued. The letter of the law blinded the Pharisees to the goodness of Jesus' intention.

The story bears witness to how the obsession with being right can lead to debilitating self-righteousness.

"That's the danger of organized religion" say the organized religion critics.

We should keep that in mind next time criticize our fellow Catholics for something as trivial as coming to Mass in blue jeans or as major as only coming on Christmas and Easter.

I'm sure Jesus would prefer that we welcome and not judge.

We need need to guard against "Pharisee" behavior in all things. (For those of us that think we are always right that's not an easy thing to do.)

From all that I've learned about Pope Francis and his opinion of the trappings of his office, I'm sure he would feel the same way.

Related articles:

Today's Scripture Readings are all about commitment

Reflecting on Mark: 9

Reflecting on Mark: 7

The overlooked Scripture for Palm Sunday

Reflecting on the Transfiguration



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