In today’s Gospel from the Mass (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus courageously get’s in the face of the powerful Pharisees, exposing their false righteousness:

 [9] He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: [10] “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, `God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ [13] But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ [14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Jesus demonstrates the willingness to get in the face of His errant children to correct them:

  • The Pharisees (meaning separated ones), thought that by attempting to keep strict observances of holiness, that they might influence God to bless Israel and cast the Romans out of Israel.  Taking the book of Moses and augmenting it with all kinds of rules and rituals that they created over centuries, the Pharisees built an oppressive regime which attempted to control every aspect of Jewish life.  They were tyrannical and yielded great power: the Gospels consistently show that the Pharisees opposed the Son of God.
  • Unfortunately for the Pharisees, their excessive focus on the plethora of minutia they created, left them completely blind to the bigger truths of personal holiness; to recognize one’s sinfulness and humbly seek God’s salvation.  The Pharisees focused on small saplings while completely missing the forest.
  • Jesus, ever courageous, goes directly to the heart of the matter, getting up close and personal and publicly exposing the Pharisees for the confused hypocrites that they were.
  • The Son of God is not afraid of rebuking the most powerful Jewish factions, even though He knows that they are conspiring to kill Him when He offers this devastating critique.
  •  Ultimately, they will kill Jesus, and unwittingly, usher in Christ’s salvation and the New Covenant in His Catholic Church.

Jesus is not afraid to “get in your face” when necessary.  He does it for our own good.

When He draws close to you, what will He see?