“Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred?”

The reading from Monday (Mt 23:13-22) has Jesus continuing to tear into the Pharisees and scribes.  He calls them hypocrites and blind guides, blocking the Kingdom for themselves and others, leading converts astray, and swearing by things and not by that which makes them sacred.  We can certainly appreciate the beauty of created things, but we must never value created things over the Creator.  We certainly can and should honor God with beauty in art, architecture, singing, and all the other trappings of worship.  These things should serve to inspire us to desire to love, honor, and obey God all the more.  When they don’t, and our hearts are far from Him, or when we think the ritual actions are enough when the heart is not in it, we are gravely mistaken.  The Lord, the hound of Heaven, pursues us relentlessly, wanting each one of us to give ourselves completely to Him as He has done for us.  Let us never deny this grace but always pray and work to be open to it and receive it all the more, and gratefully so.  And one more thing.  Jesus can be found in the most beautiful — and empty — churches in the world.  But He longs for us.  Pay Him a visit out of the blue soon.  Keep Him company and He will make your day.

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