Thursday in the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time

Luke 12:1-12

What Holiness and Integrity May Ultimately Require

We continue along the same lines as before, discussing holiness in the context of hypocrisy.  Jesus’ words are terrifying when you think of it: “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on housetops.”  In Matthew 12:36-37, Jesus said, “I tell you, on the Day of Judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”  Which is all to say that one day, our hypocrisies will be openly manifest for all to see – the real thoughts we spoke about others behind their backs after we walked away being, well, polite.  Hypocrisy is all about wearing a mask, covering up what we really think, and who we really are, before the eyes of the world.  But this is what we will answer for on Judgment Day.  As Jesus said to the Pharisees in yesterday’s passage, we must clean the inside of the cup and not just the outside; that is, that our speech and actions be holy and just because of the holiness and justice within our hearts.  Make both clean and purity and integrity will be your defense on that terrible Day.

The rest of the passage shows why purity, integrity, and sincerity are so necessary.  A hypocrite, one who wears a mask, will not stand in the day of persecution.  The pure in heart seek the One after whose heart theirs was made pure.  Their chief desire is to see Him whom their soul loves (Song of Solomon 3:3; Matthew 5:8).  Because they are sick with love for the One whom their soul loves, they hold Him, and will not let Him go (Song of Solomon 3:4).  Therefore, fire and water do not deter them; threats to body and health do not frighten them; the spoiling of their goods does not overwhelm them; the stripping of their family does not leave them desolate.  They know the One in whom they have believed (2 Timothy 1:12), and their eyes are set only for Him.  He is their Deliverer; He is their Hope; He is the One who chose them, begat them, carried them, and will bring them home.  They know that they love Him, because He first loved them (1 John 4:19).

We don’t know what lies in store for us in America.  Our brothers and sisters in Christ in other parts of the world endure horrendous suffering.  It’s not reported, but that is God’s way; His martyrs are unsung, until the Day arrives (Revelation 6:9-11).  As America grows more pagan, the churches in America will be pressured to conform to the new “morality.”  We must see that the inside and outside of the cup is pure, that we may stand in that Day.

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