The Samaritan Quality

The man who above all others has understood and expressed God as Love could yet be moved to chide error when he saw it manifested in the life about him. Jesus' most withering rebukes were for the Pharisaical thought sometimes latent in human nature, the tendency of which is to pay heed to the letter rather than the spirit of the law, to value good words more than good works, to "strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."

In our day, as in Jesus' time, this kind of thinking characterizes those individuals who "love the uppermost rooms at feasts," as St. Matthew records it, that is, who jealously strive to maintain or ruthlessly seek to achieve special privilege; those persons who obey the written law but who have omitted the "weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith;" such as "make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess."

Taking Deeper Roots
September 2, 1944

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