As a Catholic growing up; when I heard about the Pharisees, I thought they were evil. I learned in biblical theology that there were four parties at the time of Jesus. The first party the Essenes, rejected Jerusalem worship and lived in the desert. Jesus worshipped in the temple so he is not a Essenes. Second. There are the Zealots; one of the Apostles was a zealot, Simon. Jesus was not a zealot. The third are the Sadducees. They did not believe in the resurrection or angels. Jesus was not a Sadducee. The obvious conclusion is the Jesus is a Pharisee. The Pharisees were divided among themselves since there was an in-house fight among them. When Jesus fights with the Pharisees he’s on the side of good intentions.
The other side is keeping score.
The first reading from Ezekiel has a story line that represents one of the divisions among the Pharisees. Keeping score is not what God does, but some Pharisees do. Both intentions and actions are important. Both are important but the intention is more important. Purifying our intentions is the life of a Christian. The laws of God are there to make us holy. We need to put our heart into it.
I want to thank all those who make our Octoberfest a fun time. The rain did not dampen the enthusiasm. Thanks.
Sincerely in Christ,