Thursday of Lent 2, March 21, 2019
“Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins. His mercy endures for ever.”
We continue today considering how we have lived without faithfulness to our baptismal covenant:
We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness:
the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,
We confess to you, Lord.
Hypocrisy is more than merely being inconsistent between what we say and what we do. Hypocrisy can be defined as using a different standard of judging others accomplishments or mistakes than we use in judging our own, usually (but not always) being easier on ourselves than on others.
God’s faithfulness is without hypocrisy: the Son became what we are, fully human in every way except sin. Not only does Christ Jesus know what it is like to be human, he knows what it is like to be tempted by sin and to suffer the effects of other people’s sins (Hebrews 2:14-18 and 4:14-16). While the Son continued to be fully God and in full communion with the Father, through his Incarnation he became fully what we are. Through the communion of the Trinity and the Incarnation of the Son, God’s faithfulness to us is both from the perspective of our Creator and as one of us.
The call of our baptismal life is to be authentic as we “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being” (BCP 305). We are to seek justice and peace for all, not just some. We are to respect the dignity of all, not just some. Inauthenticity, especially when it is hypocritical, can cause a stumbling block for those who most need to see God’s faithfulness extended to them through us.
When we realize that we are not seeking and serving Christ in everyone, we need to ask “why does this one get treated with respect but not that one?” This line in the litany calls us to examine our inner motivations and attitudes for hypocrisy.
In what ways have we (individually and communally) been hypocritical, holding some to higher moral standards than we are willing to hold ourselves to?
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you, bring the nations into your fold, pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(16. For the Mission of the Church, BCP 100 and 257)