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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus launches a blistering attack on the scholars of the Law. 

The Son teaches, heals, preaches to, and forgives those who feel far from the mercy of God. He is the hand that the Father stretches out to sinners and to those who are lost. And by the same token, he is the judge of a sinful world. When the light of God’s forgiving love appears, the shadows of sin become all the deeper and more obvious. In light of him, there is nowhere to hide. And Jesus, the Word of the Father, gives voice to this judgment: “Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”

The Son names all those powers that are opposed to the creative and loving intentions of his Father. He speaks a word of judgment on a world grown cozy with sin. He “channels” all of the feelings of the Father toward the world: intense, forgiving love to those who are lost, and equally intense hatred for the structures of darkness.