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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mt 23,27-32): Jesus said, «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 (…)».

Charity in truth ("Caritas in veritate")

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, the claim Christ directs against the Pharisees for their hypocrisy leads us to consider the danger of falling into the merely "formal" justice, by forcing the truth of things. The most fundamental thing, love - "caritas" - is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace.

But only in the truth does charity shine forth. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality and then, "love" becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love. It falls prey to contingent subjective; the word “love” is abused and distorted. To the point that it comes to mean the opposite.

— The search for love and truth is purified and liberated by Jesus Christ from our human limitations: He himself is the Truth (cf. Jn 14:6).