Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
In today's Gospel from St. Luke, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees who presume that they have evolved morally from the time of their ancestors, who killed the prophets. The Pharisees believed that they would never do such a thing in their own time. Yet here they are, virtually foaming at the mouth like ravenous wolves in their desire to kill Jesus, the Prophet of prophets, the Messiah, the Son of God.
When I ask myself if I'm any different from the hypocrisy of these Pharisees, when I reflect on the endless stream of judgments I make against others, or the lingering resentments that should have left my heart long ago, I find that I too, like them, am in dire need of strong admonishment.
St. Teresa of Jesus, whose memorial the Church celebrates today, emphasized in her writings the importance of self-knowledge, the honest recognition of our faults, failings, and sins ~ no matter how deeply we've submerged them unconsciously in denial and ego-defense.
Once we acknowledge our sins, we realize how much we depend on God's unfathomable Mercy, and we find ourselves clutched in His embrace, close to His heart.
"We shall never completely know ourselves, if we don't strive to know God. By gazing at His grandeur, we get in touch with our own lowliness."
~ St. Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle, 1:Ch.2,9
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church/Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne