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31st Sunday in Ordinary time. Mt 23/1-12
Catholic Homilies
November 3rd, 2002

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31st Sunday in Ordinary time. Mt 23/1-12

Background:

Jesus didn't like hypocrites very much because most of his enemies were hypocrites, and indeed he realized that at all times and in all places hypocrites are the worse enemies of religion. They are the people who do evil in the name of religion and thus hurt other human beings and also corrupt religion with their pretense of virtue. They are for example the people who cling to religious power in the name of protecting religion when in all they really want to do is to protect their own power to dominate others. There were hypocrites in Jesus's time, but hypocrisy did not end then. On the contrary the terrorists and the inquisitors and those who denounce other people to enhance their own careers are very much with us even to the present day. As the church year comes to an end, Jesus and the Church warn us to examine our conscience and ask exactly how much hypocrisy there is in our own religious posture.

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Once upon a time there were a group of couples who were very active in the parish. They worked on every project that came up because as they said the priest needed their help. They were the take charge type who rushed in to take over anything that needed to be done - athletic programs, liturgy committee, finance committee, teenage program, RCIA, parish outreach, welcome committees. They were everywhere and did everything. In fact they were the parish. They figure they were entitled to feel that it was their parish because they had done so much for it. Then some other couples who were new in the parish tried to become involved. The old timers went to the pastor and said. These newcomers really aren't very nice and we're not even sure that they're good Catholics. So why don't you tell them not to bother us. If I have to choose between you and them, he said, they'll win because you have shut the door to everyone else.   So there too.

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If I have to choose between you and them, he said, they'll win because you have shut the door to everyone else
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