Categories: HomiliesPublished On: October 12th, 2022Tags: , 335 words10.2 min read
Unseen Graves

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Unseen Graves

Occasionally there is a phrase in the readings that we may not readily understand. Jesus compares the Pharisees to walking on unseen graves. In their culture, to step on a grave meant you were ritually impure and could not enter the temple. The process to correct the impurity could take up to seven days.

All Jewish people are very careful to stay ritually pure. In some cases, their rules are overbearing, but even for us it is considered improper to walk on a grave. Jewish graves are in boxes, ossuaries, that are above ground to prevent you from walking on the grave.

In our cemeteries the graves are so close together it is almost impossible not to walk on a grave. This gives us an opportunity to pray for deceased brothers and sisters.

The accusation Jesus imposes is that not only do the words of the Pharisees cause one to be unclean, but even their actions cause people to be unclean. This is a double insult. And they grind their teeth at Jesus.

Words are powerful. They can build up, tear down, show love, inflict pain. We forget that our actions also have the same impact on people. How we treat each other is just as powerful as are words.

We can smile at people, we can ignore people, we can treat each other with respect, we treat each other with disdain. We do not even have to be conscious of our actions. We just do them.

Where is our heart? Where is the love of Christ? Would we not be in a better place if we did not have to consciously think of good things to do? What if kindness, love, and mercy just flowed out of us. Watch out for the unseen graves.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen