Today’s September 18th Reading
The Gospel Reading is taken from the Coptic Lectionary for the 8th day of the Egyptian month of Tout. Today in the Roman Kalendar it is Tuesday in the 24th week in Ordinary Time and the Feast Day of St Joseph of Cupertino and in the Episcopal Kalendar it is the Feast Day of Blessed Edward, priest. In the Russain/OCA Kalendar it is the Feast Day of St Eumenes , bishop and the Commemoration of the Martyrs Sts. Ariadne of Phrygia, Sophia and Irene of Egypt, and Castor of Alexander. In the Coptic Kalendar it is the Commemoration of the the Martyrdom of St Dimides of Dershaba and Zacharias the Prophet. It is also the Feast Day of the Falling Asleep in the Lord of the Holy Prophet Moses. May these and all our holy friends pray with us and for us through Jesus Christ Our Lord Amen+
The Gospel Reading
If anyone ever would doubt that Jesus had some very very strong words to say to the religious establishment they have but to read this passage which applies today just as much as when He spoke these words many times ago. There is no “polite” exchange of ideas here. It is up front and in your face kind of commentary and judgement.
Matt 23:13-26 [Arabic] “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, “Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, “Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, “If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’
“Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
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