Scribes and Pharisees

July 20, 2015

Dear friend,

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

We always hear about “scribes” and “Pharisees” whenever we read the Holy Bible. But, not everyone knew what it means to be scribes and Pharisees. The Gospel reading today (Mt. 12:38-42) gives us an opportunity to know that they were the unbelieving. They were the ones who asked for signs in order for Jesus to prove His divinity. Are we unbelieving like the them? Do we, like arrogant scribes and Pharisees, insult Jesus by asking wicked requests like asking for signs? Let us read the Gospel and reflect about this and our relationship our Lord.

(Gospel: Mt. 12:38-42)

“Some of the scribes and Pharisees spoke up. ‘Master,’ they said, ‘we should like to see a sign from you.’ He replied, ‘It is an evil and unfaithful generation that asks for a sign! The only sign it will be given is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah remained in the belly of the sea-monster for three days and three nights, so will the Son of man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

‘On Judgement Day then men of Nineveh will appear against this generation and they will be its condemnation, because when Jonah preached they repented; and look, there is something greater than Jonah here.

‘On Judgement Day the Queen of the South will appear against this generation and be its condemnation, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and look, there is something greater than Solomon here.’”

(Below is a transcription of Fr. Manny’s homily earlier today.)

“Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees about the people of Nineveh.

Upon hearing the words of the prophet Jonah, the people of Nineveh did not think twice. They did not hesitate to repent. The listened to the message of the Lord.

The encounter of the scribes and Pharisees with Jesus Christ should have brought conversion in their hearts because He is greater than Jonah. He is much greater than King Solomon.

But, these scribes and Pharisees were the only ones in Israel who had adequate education. They were the only ones who could write. They were the only ones who could read. The women were not allowed to have education. Until now, the women could not read the Scriptures. They were not allowed. That was why the Pharisees looked at themselves as important and great people.

That is why Jesus told the scribes and the Pharisees that there is someone greater than Jonah. There is someone greater than King Solomon. He was referring to Himself.
Intelligent people as they were, they should have recognized Jesus, the Messiah.

May we do not end up like the scribes and the Pharisees. They were so intelligent. They were educated. And yet, they were unbelieving.”

All for Jesus,

Kristine G. Veneracion

P.S. Rev. Fr. Emmanuel (Manny) O. David is the chaplain in De La Salle Health Sciences Institute. The transcription above were not written verbatim. I translated the Tagalog sentences to English, so that more people can understand.

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