Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature Wednesday 17 October 2018
Gospel: Like 11: 40-46
In today’s Gospel the conflicting relationship between Jesus and the religious authority of the time continues. Jesus’ criticism can be repeated: many times, in the name of God, we insist on details and we forget justice and love. 
The image of “whitewashed tombs” speaks for itself and does not need any comments. Through this image, Jesus condemns a fictitious appearance of persons who are correct, but interiorly there is the complete negation of how they want to appear to be on the outside. Luke speaks about unmarked tombs.  
In Israel, anyone who walks on or touches a tomb becomes impure, even if the tomb is hidden under the ground. This image is very strong: on the outside the Pharisee seems to be just and good, but this aspect is deceitful because inside there is a hidden tomb that, without people being aware, spreads a poison that kills.
Jesus shows clearly that the same criticism is also for the scribes. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses the same criticism which serves as a comment: “The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must, therefore, do and observe what they tell you, but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practice what they preach”. The Pharisees whom Jesus speaks of believed they were good because they did all that the law commanded should be done. But law alone doesn’t save. Law saves when it leads to the source of salvation, when it prepares the heart to receive the true salvation that comes from faith and charity.