Zephaniah 3:1-2,9-13
Matthew 21:28-32


Did you ever undertake word processing on a dos (disc operating system) computer? Remember how limiting formatting was?  Most things on the screen appeared as one-sized text, irrespective of what fonts, colour and sizing you used.  Then came WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) computers, where we can see exactly, on screen, what the printed product will look like.  In today’s excerpt from Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus wants his followers to be WYSIWYG-like, not hypocritical or duplicitous, not saying one thing whilst meaning another, nor, like whitened sepulchres, representing ourselves as holier than thou, whilst behaving differently in our private lives. Still, he wants us to be honest, authentic and genuinely responsive to His call.

Today’s reading from Zephaniah proposes an antidote for the behaviours Jesus criticises. If we place our trust in God, we can rid ourselves of guilt for past failures and have no further need to strut around like peacocks.  We will find peace and be able to graze and rest undisturbed.  What a challenge for the Church Triumphant that we used to boast about, for us to become the humble and lowly people that Zephaniah, Jesus and Pope Francis urge us to become!  With New Year’s resolutions in mind, some excellent thoughts and a few challenges.

Brian Norman has been associated with the Passionists in various ways since he was three weeks old when he squared off with Fr Placid Millay CP over the baptismal font at St Brigid’s, Marrickville.