After Jesus continues to call out those Pharisees who follow their own will instead of the love of God and put themselves in place of honor instead of God, one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”
Jesus does not miss and beat and convicts the scholar as well when he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them” (Lk 11;45-46).
Jesus is clear about his mission, he is clear about what the kingdom of God is not and what it is. Jesus is shining a light on the practices of the Pharisees and the scholars of the law such that they can see the darkness that is blinding them. Unfortunately, unlike the blind man Bartimaeus (see M 10:46-52) who knows he is blind and wants to see, this is not true for these men who Jesus confronts in today’s Gospel.
How about us? As Jesus shines his light and love in our direction, do we cover our eyes because the light is too bright and withdraw further into the shadows or do we allow our eyes time to adjust so to allow the brightness of the Mystery of God to reveal to us that which has kept us bound in sin? Will we justify, or rationalize our behavior or that of others that we know is sinful or will we be transparent and walk into the light and the embrace of Jesus, so to repent and believe in the Gospel?
May we not follow the path of those Pharisees and scholars of the Law who imposed heavy burdens on those seeking relationship with the living God, but be willing to follow Jesus and meet others where they are at, so to accompany, encourage, and support each other in living the Gospel in our everyday lives. Let us no longer hide in the darkness, enslaved by our fears and prejudices, but come from the shadows into the light of Jesus the Christ, encourage and lead others with the Love of the Holy Spirit to do the same.