The theme of the Gospel for today is, very clearly, hypocrisy, sincerity, and truthfulness.
The Greek philosopher, Socrates, said that to be able to discover happiness in life you must know yourself.
We will try to know ourselves deeply, and in knowing ourselves deeply, hopefully, rise up from the hypocrisies we harbor in our hearts.
How do we know ourselves?
There are some of us who say that we can know ourselves by what we do. In fact, some people may be correct in saying that. You know yourself in terms of what you do. We are identified by our work.
Unfortunately, that is not always a good way to know ourselves. When we do nothing, does it mean that we are nothing already? Sick people who are bedridden cannot do anything. Are they nothing? They are certainly still somebody. So, we do not judge ourselves simply by what we do.
Some say that you can be known by what you say. That is not always the case. There are times that we are careful with our words because we don’t like to hurt or make enemies. We are very careful with our words because we don’t like to lose our friends.
We do not judge ourselves in terms of what we do, nor in terms of what we say, but in terms of what we think because no one censors the way we think. We think according to our pleasure
We do things according to what we think is right. We do not always do what we think of.
We always think, and that is the way to judge ourselves so we can really know who we are. Knowing your thoughts, knowing your mind, and knowing what you think could be seen as the ways by which we react to situations.
It is very easy to be tolerant. It is very easy to be good. It is very easy to be good inside the church. It is very easy to smile inside the church because everybody seems to be good here.
I will cite to you examples to prove what kind of person you are even though you are inside the church.
When a person goes to communion, he quietly falls in line because he is prepared and very much disposed for it. When he sees someone who does not fall in line, an urge to hit this undisciplined person can overcome him. This thought can cross our minds.
We cannot judge a person in an ideal situation but rather in terms of his reaction during times of crisis. Only at the point of crisis, at the point where the situation is not so ideal, will we know our true selves, by the manner we react.
It is very easy to know ourselves if only we will have time to look at our reactions to crisis. We will perhaps fail if we will judge ourselves simply by what we do, and what we say. We will know ourselves better by what we think.
Today, I tell you to check your thoughts. If you will check your thoughts, you will be able to know yourself more deeply. If you know yourself more deeply, God will be able to enter into your heart.
But, I am warning you, this examination of thought might be a painful process. This checking of thought might cause trouble and make you afraid. It can make you realize that you are not the perfect person that you project to be. That you are not the holy person, the good person that you want to be, that people think about you. It might be painful, but I assure you, it is worth it because this kind of pain is the pain that leads to growth.
Childbearing is painful. A mother bears a child although she knows the pain that accompanies childbirth. She endures the pain and discomfort of childbearing because it brings about new life and self-fulfillment.
This is the kind of pain that I am inviting you to face and carry. The pain of realizing ourselves, the pain of realizing that we are hypocrites in varying degrees.
Let us ask God to make us sincere, to make us honest, to make us truthful. Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi said, “What the world needs now are not teachers, what the world needs now are not speakers, what the world needs now are witnesses who speak and act the way they think. If speakers and teachers are credible, are important, it is first of all because they have become witnesses.”
Let us ask the Lord to make us truthful, honest, and sincere witnesses.
– Only Jesus, Always Jesus