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Mass prep – 30 seconds/3 points: Greek meaning of hypocrite

Funny concept with theatrical mask © Elnur / Shutterstock – ar

<a href=";src=id" target="_blank" />Funny concept with theatrical mask</a> © Elnur / Shutterstock

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Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik - published on 02/26/22

This word comes from the ancient theater, where actors were referred to precisely by the word “hypokrites.”

The Gospel for this Sunday is Luke 6:39–45

1. We can share what we have

“When should a child’s education begin? When they are three years old, or five, or more?” a married couple asked an elderly priest who had worked with families for years. He replied: “Ideally, at least 20 years before birth. Parents unknowingly transmit who they are to their children, and children absorb it like a sponge.”

2. Key Words

You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.

The word “hypocrite” (hypokrites in the original Greek) designates a man who does the opposite of what he says, points out the faults of others without seeing his own, and says what people want to hear. This word comes from the ancient theater, where actors were referred to precisely by the word “hypokrites.” While acting on stage, they put on masks that represented their characters as men or women and their states of mind: joy, sadness, fear, courage, etc.

Jesus repeatedly warns against people who wear masks, and he urges them to throw them off and be themselves in life, not hypocrites. That is why he says: “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?”

A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of the store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.

In the Bible, the heart is not understood as a symbol of emotions or feelings; it is something much more important. It is the sanctuary where man meets God, a symbol of the person’s free will, and a place of decision-making. It was thought to be surrounded by spirit (pneuma). What is most important takes place in our heart.

3. Today

Actions, or fruits, are the consequence of the decisions made in the heart. The quality of the fruit, and the quality of our lives, depends on the quality of our heart. Simply.

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