Daily Gospel Reflection – Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Bishop Robert Barron
August 28, 2023
Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Gospel: Mt 23:13-22
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.
"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.' Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, 'If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.' You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus launches a blistering attack on the scribes and Pharisees.
The Son teaches, heals, preaches to, and forgives those who feel far from the mercy of God. He is the hand that the Father stretches out to sinners and to those who are lost. And by the same token, he is the judge of a sinful world. When the light of God’s forgiving love appears, the shadows of sin become all the deeper and more obvious. In light of him, there is nowhere to hide. And Jesus, the Word of the Father, gives voice to this judgment: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.”
The Son names all those powers that are opposed to the creative and loving intentions of his Father. He speaks a word of judgment on a world grown cozy with sin. He “channels” all of the feelings of the Father toward the world: intense, forgiving love to those who are lost and equally intense hatred for the structures of darkness.