1 Thessalonains 2:9-13; Ps 139 You have searched me and you know me, Lord; Matthew 23:27-32
"Woe to you scribes and pharisees, you hypocrites..."
Hypocrisy is everywhere. We live it, breathe it, and build lives upon it.
Hypocrisy is when we say one thing and knowingly do something else in an attempt to deceive ourselves, our loved ones, our coworkers, our friends.
There must be a degree of knowledge if hypocrisy is what it is.
We all deal with on a small scale. Every time we profess our faith in Christ and yet find ourselves giving in to temptation or vice we find ourselves in the deep stuff. We find ourselves being hypocritical to some degree but that is only if we refuse to do something about it.
If we seek to make a change. If we seek repentance and God's mercy. IF we seek to make amends and hold ourselves accountable then we aren't being hypocritical rather weak and wounded men who know we are in need of Christ strength as we journey back to the Father.
Hypocrites are different. They know they are doing wrong and they refuse to hold themselves accountable or change. This latter version is what Jesus is referring us to be on the look out in our life.
How do we do that? How do we keep a finger on the pulse of that hypocrisy that he recognizes in the scribes and pharisees that could easily flare up in us?
This is where St Ignatius of Loyola daily examen comes in to play in our life.
The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us.
It consists of five steps:
1. Place yourself in God's presence. Give thanks for God's great love for you.
2.Pray for the grace to understand how God is acting in your life.
3.Review your day — recall specific moments and your feelings at the time.
4.Reflect on what you did, said, or thought in those instances. Were you drawing closer to God, or further away?
5. Look toward tomorrow — think of how you might collaborate more effectively with God's plan. Be specific, and conclude with the "Our Father."
We can keep our hypocritical nature in check as we allow God's grace to perfect us each step of the way.