Jesus pronounces woes on Pharisees and lawyers for their murderous intent and for hiding the truth from the people. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Duty so he can fulfill his sacred duty to catechize many and by growing in the Virtue of Prayer so he frequently prays with his band of Catholic brothers. 

Liturgy

28th Week in Ordinary time – Thursday – Lk 11:47-54

Commentary

After Jesus accepts a Pharisees’ invitation to dine at his home, the host Pharisee silently condemns Jesus in his heart and Jesus immediately goes on the offensive by aggressively confronting the other Pharisees and lawyers who are also guests. Jesus begins to proclaim a series of “woes” upon them, curses which are a declaration of doom and warnings to the unrepentant of God’s coming Judgment. He starts by condemning those present for their silly scrupulosity in measuring their tithes of spices, their status seeking and failure to follow their own rigorous requirements they place on others.

Jesus now pronounces woe (again, a curse) on the Pharisees for hypocrisy and pride because they falsely honored the prophets, claiming they would not have killed the prophets as their fathers had; Jesus, who is widely seen as a great prophet and is in fact the Divine Prophet, condemns their lies, knowing the Pharisees will successfully carry out their schemes to kill Him. Ominously, Jesus warns the current generation will bear the bloodguilt of all the murdered prophets. As the Son of God, His murder at their hands will confirm their guilt and Jesus confirms, that justice “shall be required of this generation”; within a generation, His prophecy is fulfilled when many hundreds of thousands of Jews are killed and Jerusalem is demolished by the Romans in A.D. 70. 

Jesus again proclaims woe upon the lawyers, this time for taking away the “key to knowledge”; Jesus exposes the lawyers’ manipulative practice of keeping Scriptures locked up, restricting access to keep control of what men were allowed to hear. Now publicly exposed by Jesus for their evil, the Pharisees and lawyers begin to relentlessly attack Jesus, seeking to build evidence against Him; ironically, the many devious acts by the Jewish leadership to attack and eventually murder Jesus, confirm Jesus’ condemnations which exposes their evil hearts. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Consider with fear the Harshness of Jesus as He Pronounces Woes upon the unrighteous Pharisees and scribes: full of righteous Anger, despite the powerful Pharisees’ plots to kill Him, Jesus Courageously (a part of Fortitude) Condemns their evil; fiery in Truth (a part of Justice), Jesus uses Curses (woe) and deliberately Insulting terms, accusing their ancestors of killing God’s prophets; the perfection of Justice, Jesus cryptically alludes to the bloodguilt of the Jewish leaders for His murder and that they will ultimately be held accountable.

Fulfill your sacred duty to catechize many

Realize: Jesus condemns the failure of the lawyers to pass along the truth to the people; in recent decades, there has been a catastrophic failure to pass along the life-saving truth of the faith to the majority of Catholics, who neither understand, nor practice, the Catholic faith.

Believe: Reflect upon Catechesis (CCC 4-10, 426, 983, 1095, 2688).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me to build the Virtue of Duty/Responsibility (a part of Justice) so I continue to grow in the knowledge of the faith and fulfill my duty as a spiritual father to catechize my family and many others. 

Frequently pray with your band of Catholic brothers

Realize: Learning to pray and practicing prayer with other faithful Catholic men will strengthen a man, helping him to avoid confusion and sin and more perfectly do Christ’s Will. 

Believe: Reflect upon Guides for Prayer and the Spiritual Life (CCC 2683-2690, 2692-2695).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prayer, help me build the Virtue of Prayer (a part of Justice) so I am drawn to holy Catholic men, I grow in the knowledge and practice of Catholic prayer, and I regularly pray with a band of Catholic brothers.