Jesus is holding nothing back when he criticizes those who he sees as hypocritical in their words and deeds. Let us do everything in our power to try to avoid becoming the subjects of these ‘woes!’ The path to this end is really rather simple, namely making sure our actions support what we say in our words. It is nevertheless not an easy task to remain consistent in this regard. It is far easier to say something than to do it! It is often a real struggle to do what we know we should be doing, and thus avoiding the accusation of hypocrisy.

 

It all has to do with the desire for integrity in our lives. I am sure that we all agree that this is desirable, however, it is often not the case even among those who are in the higher echelons of power of whom we would normally assume such integrity. Experience and history has taught us that we should never assume that this is the case and that we should always be careful in our commitments lest we promise more than we can deliver! It is very natural that we all want to give our best and do what we think will be best in a given situation, however, actually doing that is another matter indeed!

 

As they say, ‘the road to heaven is paved with good intentions!’ This means that it is not enough to intend to do what is right and good but we actually have to do it! This is the daily challenge of for a disciple of Jesus. We all want to give the best witness we can to the truths and blessings of the Gospel – well, integrity of life is necessary for that! One of the things you notice when you read the lives of the saints is that it is virtually impossible to criticize their witness. They have internalized the values of the Gospel to such an extent that they almost naturally live them. This is what is meant by a life of virtue. Let us seek to follow such a path and so be the best disciples of Jesus we possibly can.

 

Holy Spirit, help me to internalize the values and truths of the Gospel to the extent that I begin to live them naturally in my life. Help me to persevere in this life of virtue every day.