Pharisees. I never thought that they are still out there. Just like in the olden days, they would just observe from afar, complaining about people’s infidelity while thanking God that they were not like these scoundrels. These modern-day Pharisees now use the internet and the social media to prowl around and accuse all the sinners that they thought not worthy of salvation. In the end, they would conclude, “Oh, see. God punishes your kind.”
I’m referring to the folks who pray for the heavens to send fire on Leyte and other provinces upon seeing the picture above. Oh, yes. The issue? Difference of beliefs. And I suspect that they would always have their issues against their brothers and sisters in faith “until thy Kingdom come.” I was surprised that they got the message wrong. Instead of being moved with pity, some were taken aback, and one of them even said, “You have to burn your images so that God would be merciful on you and so enjoy his graces.” Oh good heavens! Pharisees are still active to this day “who night and day accused them before God (Rev. 12:10).”
I can’t still believe that they have travelled all the way from Jesus’ time just to scorn the faith of the poor. While words of encouragement are pouring to inspire help and volunteerism, these Pharisees concerned themselves about preaching their scrupulosity in the midst of Filipino’s cry for solidarity. Remember what the psalmist says: “You can mock the poor man’s hope. But his refuge is the Lord (Ps. 14:6).” And Jesus himself has something to say to self-righteous Christians like them:
Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Lk. 13:2-5).
The gospels identified a group of pious people whose faith was dead because of lack of compassion. We know them as Pharisees. But the Lord preferred to call them “hypocrites.” And never did Jesus say that hypocrites go home justified.