“Rejoicing and radiating the joy and happiness of being the precious children of our loving Father in heaven!”
(Based on Eph 1:14-20 and Lk 12:1-7 – Friday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time)
Some of us have been to a circus at some time or the other in our life.
One of the most important characters in a Circus is undoubtedly…the Clown.
The Clown has the ability to make people laugh and see the lighter side of life.
The Clown usually always appears with a smiling countenance.
This amusing and humorous appearance of the Clown is a result of the Mask that is worn.
But the clown perhaps has an important lesson for us all of us to learn…
The Clown says… “All people, in actuality, wear masks… only mine is seen outside!”
Very true perhaps, isn’t it?
“All people, in actuality, wear masks… only mine is seen outside!?
This mask that many of us wear is the Mask of Hypocrisy and Duplicity!
(Of course, with the onslaught of the pandemic, the “mask” has now become a compulsory aspect of our attire!
But the mask being referred to here in this reflection, is the ‘mentality mask’ – of hypocrisy and duplicity!)
We are into a reflection of this aspect of Hypocrisy yet again, in today’s Gospel, with Jesus’ insistence on this evil tendency with a greater force & urgency.
Hypocrisy is a vice which is much hated by Jesus.
Hypocrisy is a vice which Jesus constantly asks to weed out.
Hypocrisy is a vice which often lurks its head in our lives, knowingly or unknowingly.
Hypocrisy is duplicity.
Hypocrisy is pretence.
Hypocrisy is a facade.
… trying to be someone, that one is not.
… deceiving others by presenting a false self.
… masking one’s real identity to show one to be someone else.
The word “hypocrisy” is a composite word in the Greek.
It comes from the joining of two words…
… Hupo is the Greek word for “under”
… Krino, is the Greek word “to separate or judge.”
So Hupo + Krino = Hypocrisy means to “be under or stay under and separate or judge”!
This word was mainly used in Greek theatres and plays to describe those “actors who would speak their parts, behind a mask”!
Hypocrites in real life, extend this “acting” to their everyday life…
Hypocrites are people…
… who try to impress others, in order to hide their real lives!
… who act more spiritual and holy than they actually are!
… who behave to be too good before others, but a sham within!
Do I have any of such “hypocritic …acting” aspects in my life?
Our Lord calls this vice of hypocrisy as a Yeast…
Jesus speaks to His disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy” (Lk 12: 1b)
Yeast or Leaven is something that is used in baking.
Yeast has the great property of Influence…
A little amount of yeast is enough to raise the dough or to leaven the batter.
It has a great characteristic of exercising a great amount of influence, though little in quantity!
Hypocrisy is such…
… though a little amount, it is highly Influential, like the yeast.
Hypocritical people are able to boast much about themselves and exert harmful controls!
Hypocritical people are able to make other people highly pessimistic and negative!
Hypocritical people are able to drain out the spirit and the enthusiasm in others!
Yeast starts slow, but grows very quickly…
Yeast starts its activity in a slow manner, but it spreads very quickly and rapidly.
It has the great characteristic of exercising its great influence in a timid manner, but rises very fast and swiftly.
Hypocrisy is such… though it starts slow, it spreads its influence speedily, like the yeast…
Hypocritical people appear subtle initially, but later it becomes almost a part of their nature!
Hypocritical people appear harmless initially, but later consume people by its strong effect!
Hypocritical people appear gentle initially, but later it becomes a dangerous influence!
How does Hypocrisy usually originate?
Usually from a Fear…
Fear of the people makes one to adopt a totally different disposition and character.
Fear of the situations makes one to adjust with a duplicate personality and behaviour.
Fear of one’s weaknesses makes one to alter the style of life and tamper with one’s nature.
That’s why the Lord, in today’s Gospel would strongly exhort, “Fear Not!”
When we banish the fear of many factors, we are able to be our real self.
When we cast away the fear of our material worries, we are able to live our true identity.
God is our Loving Father… a Caring Person…He wants us to grow in Holiness and Sanctity.
But He also knows that our double standards in life and our pretence and dual-facedness in many areas of our life, is a block to His Grace in us.
Let us pray with St Paul as he prayed for the Church at Ephesus, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened…
… that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe…” (Eph 1:17-19)
The Lord today invites us to peel away our mask of hypocrisy by casting away our fears, by throwing ourselves into the care of our Loving God, our Beloved Father in Heaven!
Let us not be a clown who has a plastic smile because of the mask…
… Rather become a people, who truly rejoice and radiate the joy and happiness of being the precious children of our loving Father in heaven!
Today we specially seek the intercession of Blessed Augustine Thevarparambil (popularly known as Kunjachan – ‘little priest’ in Malayalam) on his feast day.
May his deep zeal and commitment to missions, especially among the lower sections of the society be a strong antidote and inspiration for us to live an authentic and sincere Christian life!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Let us never make a show of wishing to be last