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ON IMPRESSION-HYPOCRISY

Read­ing Time: 3 minutes

Introduction

After his won­der­ful teach­ing and cla­ri­fic­a­tion to the ques­tion of the scribe con­cern­ing the greatest com­mand­ment, the pas­sage con­cludes with Mark’s obser­va­tion that no one dared ask Jesus any more ques­tions (cf. Mark 12:34b). Before the Gos­pel of this Sunday, Mark reports a pas­sage where Jesus cor­rec­ted the wrong notion that he is the son of Dav­id (cf. Mark 12:35–37). As Jesus noted, if Dav­id him­self speak­ing by the Holy Spir­it, addressed him as Lord, how then can he be David’s son? It is not pos­sible. It was after this cla­ri­fic­a­tion and cor­rec­tion that Jesus warned the crowd to beware of the hypo­crisy of the teach­ers of the law (the scribes). Before present­ing the won­der­ful example of the poor wid­ow who gave from her heart, Jesus con­demned the impres­sion and hypo­crisy of the teach­ers of the law and oth­er Jew­ish author­it­ies. The warn­ing is also for the con­tem­por­ary Chris­ti­ans who are like them.

The example of the widow

Jesus sat down oppos­ite the treas­ury, and watched the crowd put­ting money into the treas­ury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor wid­ow came and put in two small cop­per coins, which are worth a penny” (Mark 12:41–42). After con­demning the atti­tude of the scribes, Jesus sat down and observed the hap­pen­ings in the Syn­agogue. He watched both the poor and the rich make their offer­ings and express their appre­ci­ations to God for His bless­ings. Among oth­ers, Jesus noticed a poor wid­ow who made an excep­tion­al offer­ing. This pleased him. After the offer­ing, Jesus called his dis­ciples and said to them “truly I tell you, this poor wid­ow has put in more than all those who are con­trib­ut­ing to the treas­ury. For all of them have con­trib­uted out of their abund­ance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43–44).

Social justice

What is social justice? It is justice in terms of the dis­tri­bu­tion of wealth, oppor­tun­it­ies, and priv­ileges with­in a soci­ety. Social justice is a polit­ic­al and philo­soph­ic­al concept. Such concept sus­tains that every mem­ber of the soci­ety should have equal access to wealth, health, well-being, justice and oppor­tun­ity. In oth­er words, the neg­a­tion or obstruc­tion of this would be social injustice. Accord­ing to Farooq, Social injustice occurs in a situ­ation where the equals are treated unequally and the unequal is treated equally. Three com­mon examples.……

Conclusion

This is a ser­i­ous point of reflec­tion on what is hap­pen­ing today in almost all the Chris­ti­an churches, includ­ing Cath­ol­ic Church, espe­cially here in Niger­ia. There is a trend, which has been going on in many churches. There are now series of awards and recog­ni­tions, which most often, are giv­en freely and without faith-motiv­at­ing cri­terion. The most strik­ing things are not these awards and recog­ni­tions, but the cal­ibre of people that receive them and the reas­ons for which they receive them. If you do not have money and do not know “those who mat­ter”, then, you can for­get it. Parish­ion­ers and Church mem­bers are now cat­egor­ised into two: the rich and the poor. What a shame! When you com­plain that dubi­ous people and people with ques­tion­able char­ac­ters are being giv­en awards in the Church, you will be scol­ded and accused of judging oth­ers. This is pain­ful! That which Jesus con­demned is now prac­tised in the open and presen­ted as mod­els to be imit­ated. In Jesus’ day, reli­gious people tried to impress each oth­er with showy out­ward beha­viour. They wore gaunt and hungry looks dur­ing fast, prayed gran­di­osely if people were watch­ing. They even went as far as wear­ing Bible verses.….

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I and II)!! The reflec­tion for the 32nd Sunday of the year (B) is found in vol. II pages 502–516. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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