Daily Prayer: a resource of Forward Movement

The Forward Day by Day Meditation for July 11, 2018

We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, you can log in to Disqus with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account; just click "Login," or the appropriate logo below. Or, you can sign up for a Disqus account; just use the entry form below, or click the "D" logo to start the process. You can find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page.


Matthew 23:27-28 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

In what is known as the Seven Woes to the Pharisees, Jesus rebukes the religious leaders again and again for their hypocrisy. You look religious, Jesus cautions them, but it’s what’s inside that counts.

When Jesus talks about “whitewashed tombs,” he’s not talking about a beautification project. Instead, he is referring to the practice of painting graves with a lime-and-water mixture in order to make them easier to see—and avoid. Repainting tombs was typically done shortly before Passover, when thousands of foreigners would descend on Jerusalem. If the graves were not well marked, pilgrims might inadvertently touch them, becoming ceremonially unclean and unable to enter the temple.

For the scribes and Pharisees, the messages couldn’t be clearer: The appearance of righteousness isn’t enough. What matters is the content of your heart. 

MOVING FORWARD: Is there something you’ve whitewashed over? How can you and Jesus clean this up and clear it out?

PRAY for the Diocese of East Carolina 

Today the Church remembers Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino, c. 540.

Ps 5, 6 * 10, 11 | Numbers 35:1-3, 9-15, 30-34 | Romans 8:31-39 | Matthew 23:13-26 



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