First Letter to the Thessalonians 2:1-8.
For you yourselves know, brothers, that our reception among you was not without effect.
Rather, after we had suffered and been insolently treated, as you know, in Philippi, we drew courage through our God to speak to you the gospel of God with much struggle.
Our exhortation was not from delusion or impure motives, nor did it work through deception.
But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted with the gospel, that is how we speak, not as trying to please human beings,but rather God, who judges our hearts.
Nor, indeed, did we ever appear with flattering speech, as you know, or with a pretext for greed--God is witness--
nor did we seek praise from human beings, either from you or from others,
although we were able to impose our weight as apostles of Christ. Rather, we were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children.
With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our very selves as well, so dearly beloved had you become to us.
For the leader. A psalm of David. I LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.
My travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.
Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 23:23-26.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.
Commentary of the day
Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Commentary on the 1st letter of Saint John, VI, 3 ; SC 75 (copyright Augustinian heritage institute)
"Cleanse first the inside "
«Little children, this is how we know we are of the truth, when we love
in action and truth, not only in words and speech, and assure our heart
in his presence» (1Jn 3,18-19). What does «in his presence» mean? Where
he himself sees. Hence, the Lord himself says in the gospel, «Beware of
practicing your righteousness in the presence of men, in order to be
seen by them; otlierwise you will not have a reward with your Father who
is in heaven» (Mt 6,1)... You are before God. Question your heart: see
what you have done and what you have been yearning for there—your
salvation or the windy praise of men. Look within, for a person cannot
judge one whom he cannot see. If we are assuring our heart, let us
assure it in his presence.
«Because if our heart thinks badly»—that is, if it accuses us within,
because we aren't acting with the spirit with which we should be acting
—«God is greater than our heart, and he knows all things» (v.20). You
hide your heart from man: hide it from God if you can. How will you hide
it from him to whom it was said by a certain sinner in fear and
confession: «Where shall 1 go from your spirit, and where shed! I flee
from your face?»... For where does God not exist? «If,» he said, «/ go
up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to hell, you are present» (Ps
139,7-8). Where will you go? Where will you flee? Do you want to
hear some advice? If you want to flee from him, flee to him. Flee to him
by confessing, not from him by hiding, for you cannot hide, but you can
confess. Tell him. «You are my refuge» (Ps 32,7), and let there be
nursed in you the love that alone leads to life.