Fr Paul reads from Matthew’s Gospel (23: 13-32) in which Jesus says, ‘Alas for you, Scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites’.

Fr Paul says this Gospel today gives us the first four of what is traditionally called, ‘the seven woes’ that are against the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus is making statements about the retribution that will happen to these Scribes and Pharisees because of the way they conduct themselves. These statements are also warnings to all Christians who may fall into the same traps.

The Pharisees were very strict with their observance of the Law, as we hear in the Gospel, but they became so scrupulous about it that they forgot the purpose of the Law itself.

For our reflection today, Fr Paul says we might be mindful of the old saying, which says, ‘they could not see the wood for the trees’.