Humility before God
Our Lord describes Pharisee-ism as an attitude that removes us from God’s Law, which is our true moral DNA. It happens when our conscience becomes scrupulous in superficial things, but softened towards God. Then the surface becomes crucial for us, but authentic prayer and real faithfulness to the Commandments are seen as “rigid” and unwelcome.
The yeast of the Pharisees is like a weed. We might not see it, and in blindness we overcome Christian moral barriers by embracing a concept of living, and even of the Church, which is not Christ-like and does not come from God but from man. We take God’s clear moral demands, which are very penetrating and challenge us to the core, and we replace them with our own inventions, which have an appearance of goodness but do not penetrate.
This has slipped into our Catholic culture, for example, when we focus a lot on “ecology” but pass over sexual immorality. Or when we label ourselves as progressive, traditionalist, conservative… losing our identity of being the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, we forget God!
We need humility before God, in contrast to the pride of the Pharisees. Let us remember Moses: his humility before God, receiving everything from Him. Remember his 40-day long prostration on the mountain to beg forgiveness for the people’s pride, when they replaced the ten commandments with their own golden calf. The pharisee makes his own religion, he is the focus, not God. But if we come reverently before God in humility and penitence we will be welcomed by Him.
May we allow Our Lady to act in us in a way that all the enemies of God might embrace His Law and bend before Him.