Blind Guides

In today’s Gospel from St. Matthew, Jesus continues his criticism of the scribes and Pharisees, who pay tithes but fail to act with judgment, mercy and fidelity, who “strain out the gnat and swallow the camel,” and who “cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.”

It is what he called them that struck me this morning: Blind guides.

The name is a reminder that what we do and what we say is always a signal to another person. Whether we intend it or not, we are, in a sense guides to others, particularly those over whom we exercise some authority or for some other reason are a persuasive force to them.

Are we guides who point the way to Christ? Who by our words and deeds model lives of discipleship?

Or are we, like the scribes and Pharisees, “blind guides,” worrying more about form than about mercy and fidelity, cleaning the outside of the cup rather than what is within? Are we true guides, or do our words and actions lead people astray?

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