The blindness of the sheperds

Mt 23:13-22

Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut up the kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces, neither going in yourselves nor allowing others to go who want to. Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and anyone who becomes one you make twice as fit for hell as you are.

‘Alas for you, blind guides! You say, “If anyone swears by the Temple, it has no force; but anyone who swears by the gold of the Temple is bound.” Fools and blind! For which is of greater value, the gold or the Temple that makes the gold sacred? Again, “If anyone swears by the altar it has no force; but anyone who swears by the offering on the altar, is bound.” You blind men! For which is of greater worth, the offering or the altar that makes the offering sacred?Therefore, someone who swears by the altar is swearing by that and by everything on it. And someone who swears by the Temple is swearing by that and by the One who dwells in it. And someone who swears by heaven is swearing by the throne of God and by the One who is seated there.

Jesus does not be gentle with those who are called to show other people the way to God, but who themselves become an obstacle and mislead them.

The Lord reminds them how wrong they are, and it should not be hard to imagine what awaits them if they do not leave their ways and repent.

It is a high vocation and honor to bring the gospel to the people, and from this comes a corresponding responsibility. The more people we reach, the more responsibility grows. Those who, for example, bear responsibility in the ecclesial hierarchy are not only called to support and strengthen the flock, to teach them correctly, to defend them from evil, to give the holy sacraments, but also to represent the church to the outside world. The Church has a mission for this world. It must testify to it of the immutability of the Gospel, to reveal the love and goodness of God, and at the same time to show the errors that are spreading deceiving people.

Today’s text speaks of the blindness of the shepherds. This is truly a danger, because blindness can increase, and error can obscure the true view more and more. That is why we must resist from the beginning to all that contradicts the gospel and the doctrine of the Church.
It is like a lie: if we let the lie into our lives and do not seek to overcome it immediately with the truth, we can get used to the lie over time. It can come to the point where we no longer notice the and have become blind at this point.

How can we make the above situation speak for the present day?
A recent example according to the true teaching which is so important:Recently, a priest repeated a claim that he had already made public some time ago. He spoke of the fact that the devil is only a symbolic figure and stands more for evil within our heart. The publicity of the claim and the position of the priest exclude that it could only be regarded as a personal opinion.

First of all, it must be said that this is a false doctrine, because both the Scriptures and the doctrine of the Church testify that the devil is a fallen angel, that is, a real person. It would be tragic enough for a Catholic to think such an error for himself, because he falls into a mistake and distances himself from the true doctrine. In this case, however, it is a priest in a superior and influential hierarchical position.

Obviously, there is already a blindness here.

One is because one is not aware of the nature of the personality of the fallen angel, therefore one alos cannot defend rightly and will certainly not use the priestly authority of exorcism. Then a personal view in contradiction to the doctrine of the Church is made publicly. Such statements by a man of the Church confuse the faithful and it can be the result that believers can then also question other teachings of the Church.

One can therefore see how deviating from the truth of the Gospel makes increasingly blind, so that one hardly overlooks the consequences of the public pronouncement of such an error, if one assumes that confusion swells not consciously.

Blind shepherds!

It would be self-evident that this high cleric should be rebuked and that he would also have to reclaim his error. It is unlikely to happen.
Instead of this help the believers must now identify such an error themselves and hold fast to the true faith. The correction of such a priest would be important not only because of the annoyance, but also for himself, because it is not an unimportant matter to fall into error, because the blindness can progress.

Unfortunately, far too little attention is paid to this in our Catholic Church, because this example is only one of many. If such priests or other public persons who stand for the Catholic faith are not measured by the corresponding church-authorities, those authorities violate their pastoral ministry. So it is a kind of cooperation in the spread of error, blindness continues to increase, the truth of faith is obscured and souls suffer harm. This will also lead to a loss of confidence in the authority of shepherds if they no longer protect the faith.

What will the head of the shepherds, our Lord, wil say? he entrusted the true doctrine to the Catholic Church. Isn’t the danger that the kingdom of heaven is closed to men and are the false teachers not in danger to fail to enter?

It is quite a few people who have been attracted to the clear doctrine of the Church and have thus found their way home.

What about those theologians who teach and spread errors on behalf of the Church without being corrected by the corresponding hierarchs, and how do those shepherds stand before God who grant them?

Love and truth belong together. Man has a right to hear the truth from the Church. It must not be confused by those who have the task of proclaiming the ecclesial doctrine.

Blind shepherds cannot lead the flock! One can only listen to those who are in harmony with the Gospel and the true doctrine of the Church.


Harpa Dei accompanies the daily scriptural interpretation or spiritual teaching of Br. Elija, their spiritual father. These meditations can be heard on the following website www.en.elijamission.net