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Showing posts from September, 2017

How not to be a Hypocrite

This Sunday's Gospel story about two sons saying one thing but doing another invites us to consider the ways our actions speak louder than our words - the ways we say "yes" to God at one level but then behave differently throughout the week in our daily life.

So today I'd like you to think about hypocrisy. But not in the way you're probably used to thinking about it.

"Hypocrisy" is usually thought of as simply "saying one thing and doing another."

But it's about more than that. The word "hypocrisy" comes from the Greek word for "play-acting" - wearing a mask, acting as if you are someone you are not.
I'd like you to consider that hypocrisy is not being your true self.
And what is your "true self"? On Sundays - and, I hope in your daily prayer and Bible reading - you are reminded of it: you were lovingly created by God;you are put on the face of the earth for God's purposes: to love God and love your neighbor…

In order to exhale generosity, we need to inhale gratitude. In order to exhale compassion, we need to inhale forgiveness.

I believe that actions of generosity come from an attitude of gratitude - our own sense of being blessed in life.

Similarly, I believe that actions of mercy and compassion come from appropriating forgiveness - our own feeling of deeply, fully forgiven.

One way I've said this before is "in order to exhale generosity, we need to inhale gratitude. In order to exhale compassion, we need to inhale forgiveness."

But appropriating forgiveness is difficult. In Sunday's Gospel, we hear the story of Peter wanting to know what the limits or outer boundaries of forgiveness are."How often do I need to forgive someone, Jesus? As many as seven times?" he asks."Not seven, but seventy-seven," Jesus answers.(What's interesting is the Greek that's translated "seventy-seven" can also be translated seventy-times-seven. So when Peter says "do I really have to forgive seven times?", Jesus says "no, 77, or 490 times!")

The point -- espec…