February 6

Reflection

Often those who preach the loudest and condemn others with such zeal are exposed as being involved in the same behaviors they so publicly deplore. Jesus warns us not to practice hypocrisy in living out our discipleship. The word hypocrite comes from the Greek word for actor, one who wears a mask or plays a part. We are not to imitate those who exercise power over others for their own advantage or condemn others who seem not to live up to their rules while not adhering to them themselves.  Christianity is not about a set of spiritless rules but about a compassionate set of values. For a follower of Christ, living with integrity is not in the show of things but in their substance. To be like Christ is to walk humbly before God and to offer others understanding and loving service.

Prayer

Help me, O Lord, to practice what you have preached.

Action

Are there areas in my life where I lack compassion and understanding and find hypocrisy instead? How will I amend this?

Suggested Reading

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice…..’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters.
Matthew 23:8

The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Mt 23:1-12

Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo.
Ambrose Bierce

Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

One should examine oneself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.
Moliere

All of us are experts at practicing virtue at a distance.
Theodore M. Hesburgh

Go put your creed into your deed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hypocrite: the man who murdered both his parents… pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.
Abraham Lincoln

The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.
Socrates

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