An Excellent Personal Perspective from Shari: Pharisees and the Power of Hope in the Church

The Pharisees are real people who had a weakness of the flesh that I think is most common among active church goers. In fact, shameful admission, I have related to their behavior far more than anyone else who interacted with Jesus. The repentant sinners, um never did anything “THAT bad” in my life. The apostles, haven’t had as much conviction and passion and humility for Christ.

See they were better than EVERYONE else because they followed the law to the “T” They were doing it God’s way and all those other people were inferior. As a teen I belonged to such a community. We loved the Mass, OK mostly my dad did, but dad would often joke that half the church must have been uncomfortable when the gospel involved the Pharisees. Conversations in this community often were about the mistakes the priest had made, how much better this Mass is when said right and how much more on track we were than most teens.

One of these times Dad was saying that about a Gospel with the good ol’ never failing hypocritical Pharisees, I laughed and then, I took a step back and realized, I SHOULD BE getting uncomfortable. Not only had I fallen into criticizing other Parishes for not being as good, but people who were dumb teens doing dumb teen stuff. Realizing this was rough. To be honest it was been a struggle throughout my adult life. Not in the same community sense. As a matter of fact, we considered joining a community but recognized early on a contagious superior attitude and realized we could not be a part of that.

This, to me is the most likely failing or sin in active parishioners. We are all human and have weakness of the flesh. Each of us at different points in life have different weaknesses of the flesh. These are the weaknesses that the devil preys upon. I have not seen behavior to the extent of the Pharisees but once, and even then that would be a bit of an exaggeration; they were so superior to Christ they put him to death, so the grace God gives the Church runs deeper than the devil’s preying on human flesh weaknesses. There is hope, always.

I think that this is good Shalimar. The Pharisees never believed Christ and rejected His message. But the people and Community you are speaking of already know Christ so the likeliness of hope is there and you can only pray and do what God calls you to do.

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