St. Augustine, bishop  & doctor 

***1st Reading***

 1 Thessalonians 2: 9-13

 Remember our labor and toil; when we preached the Gospel, we worked day and night so as not to be a burden to you.  

 You are witnesses with God that we were holy, just and blameless toward all of you who now believe.  We warned each of you as a father warns his children;  we encouraged you and urged you to adopt a way of life worthy of God who calls you to share his own glory and kingdom.

 This is why we never cease giving thanks to God for, on receiving our message, you accepted it, not as human teaching, but as the word of God. That is what it really is, and as such it is at work in you who be­lieve.


**** Gospel ****

Matthew  23: 27-32

 Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs beautiful in appearance, but inside there are only dead bones and uncleanness.  In the same way you appear as religious to others, but you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness within.

 Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous.  You say: Had we lived in the time of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the blood of prophets.  So, you yourselves confess to be the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. And now, finish off what your ancestors began!


Reflection gospel:


We are witness to the deplorable and sometimes appalling effects of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a result of a fragmented, corrupt and vicious character. The hypocrite is full of pretension and deceit; she/he is not genuinely concern of others. The hypocrite seeks self-glorification and self-benefit, always ready to step on other’s toes. She/he is unrepentant over the harm inflicted to others, and does not even budge at the hurt or suffering of others.

The inside of the hypocrite rots and stinks, but the outside is well “covered” so that it looks spotless and attractive.Quite contrary, sincerity stands at the opposite pole of hypocrisy. Sincerity springs forth from an integral and peaceful character, one that is touched by the love of God, one that has been converted to the love of God and neighbor. the sincere person is mindful of her/his personal well-being; she/he is equally mindful of the well-being of others.

The heart of the sincere person is ruled by love, compassion and mercy. She/he has the heart of Christ. The sincere person does not wish misfortune or harm to others. She/he glories in the triumphs and success of others; she/he is not envious. The sincere person is an agent of peace and care; she/he is kindhearted and gentle.