Catholic Readings for Wednesday, August 30th
Today's first reading is from 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13. In this passage, Paul reminds the Thessalonians of his conduct while he was with them. He worked day and night so as not to be a burden to them, and he exhorted them as a father would his children. Paul reminds them that they accepted the word of God, not as the word of men, but as the true word of God. This reading encourages us to also welcome the word of God into our hearts and live according to it.
The Gospel reading is from Matthew 23:27-32. Jesus criticizes the scribes and Pharisees, calling them hypocrites. He compares them to whitewashed tombs that appear beautiful on the outside but inside are full of the bones of the dead. Although the scribes and Pharisees honor the prophets of old with monuments, they do not imitate the prophets' righteous behavior. Jesus warns them that they testify against themselves in acknowledging the prophets but not following their example.
This Gospel advises us against hypocrisy and "going through the motions" in our faith. We are called to align our actions with our values and beliefs. Honoring holy men and women in word but not deed is meaningless. Like the prophets, we should live out our faith with integrity and authenticity.
In both readings, we are reminded that faith is revealed not just through our words, but especially through our actions. As St. James wrote, "Be doers of the word and not hearers only." May this day's readings inspire us to live the word of God with sincerity and truth.