The Two Faces Of Hypocrisy

– Friday 28th Week in Ordinary Time –

“Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”  [Luke 12:7]

Today’s Gospel passage begins with Jesus warning the disciples against the hypocrisy that the Pharisees display. While these men appear to be very holy because they do and say all the right things and follow the letter of the law, their motivation is not love of God and neighbour but rather the praise and honour that their behaviour elicits.

Then Jesus goes on to talk to the disciples about the fear of dying, a valid fear in light of Israel’s hostility toward Jesus and his followers.  He urges them not to be afraid of those who might present a physical danger but rather to fear God who “has authority to cast into hell”. Jesus is well aware that they will be tempted to try to avoid the anger and violence of the crowds by denying that they are his disciples.

Just as the Pharisees are guilty of hypocrisy because they present themselves as righteous when they are not, others may be tempted to project a false image and disguise their relationship to Christ in order to avoid persecution. This is a different form of hypocrisy certainly, but it is hypocrisy nevertheless.

We may not be guilty of the Pharisee’s “holier than thou” sort of hypocrisy, but perhaps we have at times been tempted to hide the fact that we are followers of Christ in order to avoid criticism and judgement.

Jesus goes on to tell the disciples – and us – that there is no need to be afraid, because God, who cares even for little sparrows, is watching over his children.


by Elizabeth Harrington

get the daily reflections sent directly to your email

Thank you, we'll be in touch soon

You can close this page now, or if you would like to learn more about us, check out our website.